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Sharaya J is a Hawaiian-born, New Jersey-raised rapper, dancer, and choreographer who shares Elliott’s passion for baggy pants and wild lipstick. She was a dancer before giving any thought to becoming an artist in her own right, appearing in Alicia Keys’ video for “Teenage Love Affair” and The-Dream’s “Shawty Is a Ten,” and dancing on the big screen in Step Up 2 The Streets and Step Up 3D. But as the legend goes, when Missy Elliott met Sharaya, she noticed a “star quality” in the young choreographer and offered to groom her into an artist, with a warning that the process wouldn’t happen overnight. With her turquoise hair and loud outfits, Sharaya has an urban-android look that places her amidst the likes of 2010 Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, Amber Rose, and FKA twigs, yet her musical style is distinctly Elliott-influenced.

Meet Missy Elliott’s Protegee, Sharaya J

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