All Articles Tagged "missy elliot"
I’ll tell anyone that’ll listen that Missy Elliot is my favorite rapper of all time. Interestingly enough, people like to debate me on that. They argue that Missy couldn’t possibly be my favorite lyricist. But I’m not saying it because I think it’s the right thing to say. I’m saying it because from the moment I popped her Supa Dupa Fly album into my discman, Missy spoke to me, profoundly. She was like nothing we had ever seen before. She was herself unapologetically. Missy would sing to you about the love of the Lord on one track, celebrate female friendships on another, tell you why she was the best on another, and then explain what she was finna do in the bedroom. And as a young Black girl, listening to her, watching her express these different facets of herself meant a helluva lot to me.
Knowing Missy’s catalog the way I do, imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this tweet.
Immediately, lyrics started popping into my mind.
“You do or you don’t or you will or won’t cha, go downtown and eat it like a vulture.”
“Pussy don’t fail me now. I gotta turn this n*gga out so he don’t want nobody else but me and only me.”
“Can I put my booty booty up in your spaghetti, daddy?”
That last one’s my favorite.
And there are plenty more lyrics that alluded, more discreetly, to sex.
Missy always let you know what was up. She got hers. That tweeter later qualified his statements saying that she didn’t present herself as a sex symbol. I guess he meant she wasn’t scantily clad, thrusting her titties in the camera.
Yes, she wasn’t selling her body. But she was selling sex. I don’t know what this man was thinking when he tweeted but I think people, men particularly, so often associate sex with a visual image that they failed to realize Missy sang and rapped about her pussy regularly. The problem is people don’t often associate women like Missy with sex. Heavyset, dark skinned, covered up. And even though she was literally throwing it in your face, people still couldn’t see it.
Still, you couldn’t avoid Missy if you tried. And even if there were some people who didn’t pick up on all of her messages, and the impact of those messages, there are so many of us who did.
Now that it seems that we’re finally about to get some new music from Missy Elliot, the Hip Hop legend sat down with Billboard to cover their November 28 issue. In it she talks about the pressure she feels to come out with something hot and fresh, her privacy both in and out of the studio, her health struggles and her thoughts on Nicki Minaj and music today.
Check out the highlights below.
On taking her time to release new music
“I have to be very careful,” she says. “It’s different now. People are quick to be like, ‘You’re irrelevant, you’re a flop, you’re washed up.’
The task became particularly challenging considering Elliot is only working with a very small circle of people for this project.
[Pharrell and Timbaland are] “the only two producers that understand me.”
Truth be told, it’s not that the album hasn’t been held off because she’s been uninspired.
“If I wanted to do ‘The Missing Files of Missy Eliliot,’ I have probably six albums just sitting there.”
Missy consciously made a decision to take a break. She just didn’t realize it would be this long.
“People hadn’t realized that I haven’t just been an artist, I’ve been a writer and a producer for other artists. When you’re writing that much, your brain is like a computer. You have refresh it.”
Missy also believes it was her workload didn’t do much to help her Graves disease.
“It causes hair loss, your eyes bulge,” she says. “My blood pressure was always up from just overworking.”
Her protege, Sharaya, spoke about the emotional toll it took on Missy as well.
“It started to change her way of life,” she says. “There were physical changes, extreme headaches, extreme weight loss. What that does to a person, being a public figure and knowing people are looking, judging? That’s a tough thing.”
On Nicki Minaj and the need for more female MCs.
When asked about Nicki Minaj, who is clearly influenced by Elliott, she mock-innocently replies, “Oh, she is?” (Speaking to her influence generally, she adds, “Unfortunately, breaking news, there is only one Missy.”) Still, she would love to see more woman MCs on the charts — when she was coming up, that was much more common. “It was me, [Lil’] Kim, Lauryn [Hill], Eve, Foxy [Brown], Trina,” she says. “There’s room for so many. It’s important.”
On being shy and maintaining her privacy
“I was always feisty, always that kid that would be on the porch with a hairbrush singing or rapping,” she says. “I got more shy as I got older and realized people could be laughing at me, or judging me.”
And though she and Timbaland are friends and have been creative partners for years, she’s shy around him too.
“I never record in front of anybody,” she says. “[Even] Tim has never seen me record a day in his life.” Early on she worked with an engineer, but for many years now she has recorded her parts alone — with two exceptions. “It’s just me and my little Yorkies, Poncho and Hoodie.”
The habit of being alone comes from Missy’s childhood where she would use her room as an escape from her often turbulent life. Not only had she repeatedly been sexually abused by her cousin, she also watched her mother being physically abused by her father, at one point pulling a gun on her.
“My room would become a whole other world once I shut that door,” she says. “That’s why I believe my videos are so important to me. It was Alice in Wonderland: my bed, my closet — it would all turn into something else. And I would write and sing and block out whatever was going on.”
Pieces of that introverted child still remain. Surprisingly enough, while we all remember her absolutely killing her Super Bowl performance with Katy Perry, Missy says that she had a panic attack before it actually happened.
“Like, IVs in my arm, everything,” she says. “Nobody knew.” The day of the show, she remembers being just offstage and hearing the opening riff of “Get Ur Freak On.” “I said, ‘If I can get over this step, then I know all my dance steps will be on point,’ ” she recalls. “I know it was nothing but the grace of God that lifted me up and took me through that performance.”
We’re so glad He did!
You can read Missy’s full interview with Billboard here.
Missy Elliott is easily my favorite Hip Hop artist. Her innovation and self acceptance were the exact messages I needed to receive as a young girl. So needless to say, I’ve missed her sound and her style in the music industry over the past 10 years when she last released an album. (The Cookbook to be specific.)
And after teasing her return for years and telling us that she was waiting for the perfect tracks, Elliott is back with a new single called “WTF.”
It doesn’t stand for what you think it does. “WTF” in this instance stands for “Where They From.”
The track, produced by Pharrell sounds like his work but is still Missy: fresh and futuristic. And it goes.
The producer doesn’t appear in the video but he sent a marionette representative that looks just like him.
The song is typical rapper braggadocio with Missy and Pharrell talking about how they get down…where they’re from.
“I don’t care who none of y’all are. Blah, blah, blah, blah. You best to go rewrite your bars.”
In the newly released Dave Meyers and Elliot co-directed video, which I can only describe as eye candy, the veteran rapper looks healthy performing simple choreography alongside other female dancers and Les Twins, who you might recognize from Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter World Tour.”
Though there’s no release date for the new project, we can only assume that with the subsequent sales of Missy’s music after her guest appearance during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl set, it won’t be long.
Take a listen to the bass pounding, upbeat, dance track and watch the video below and tell us what you think, pass or play?
Missy Elliot came back bigger and badder than ever at the Superbowl earlier this year and she recently rocked Essence Festival down in New Orleans — proving that true talent is timeless! What we love about Missy’s style is just how bold and innovative it is but still wrapped very much in classic Hip-Hop elements! We dive into her signature track suits, blinged out accessories and fly girl here!
Welcome to Missy…where old becomes new!
All images courtesy of WENN
WCW: 15 Memorable Missy Elliott Ensembles
Legend has it that every five minutes, someone somewhere in the world asks R&B crooner Maxwell when his next album will drop.
If you follow the “Pretty Wings” singer on social media, you’ll know this statement isn’t far from the truth. He can’t seem to catch a break from well-meaning, hungry fans itching for that new new. And while there has been an influx of soul-stirring music in recent months from the likes of D’Angelo (after a 14-year hiatus), Prince, J.Cole, and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few, our hearts and ears still long to hear the latest from not only Maxwell, but these other legendary artists who like to take their precious time making music: Sade, Lauryn Hill, and Missy Elliot.
I’ll be the first to admit I still harbor a school-girl type of crush on Maxwell, so my unrequited love for the man may get in the way of sensibility. But he did make a few promises he couldn’t quite keep. After the 2009 release of his Grammy award-winning BLACKsummers’night album, Maxwell promised back-to-back albums, a trilogy, in fact. Six years later, fans are still waiting on pins and needles for the second album to be released. The only thing we’ve had to tide us over is his 2012 duet with Alicia Keys, “Fire We Make.” We’re happy for the crumbs but, damn, can we get a full on meal, please? Maxwell even said a duet album was in the works with Keys, but that too has yet to come to pass. Can you blame me for my thirstiness? This is the man who brought us classics like “Sumthin’ Sumthin,’” “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” “Fortunate,” and “This Woman’s Work.” This is a man who is ever humble and whose gratitude speaks volumes. I’m getting all verklempt. Let me move on.
I grew up in a household where three particular songstresses reigned supreme: Anita Baker, Phyllis Hyman, and Sade. And while I love all of them, Sade has always held a special place in my heart. Perhaps that’s because she also has a beautiful African name that people have trouble pronouncing (There’s no “r” in Sade, folks. Quit it already). The despair, the heartache, the highs, the lows. Sade sets a mood like no other artist can and understands romantic love in a way I have yet to experience. But she’s also on that 10-year plan. Her last album, Soldier of Love, was released in 2010, which means fans have (at least) five more years to wait before hearing another musical gem. That’s if she even feels like returning. On the Soldier of Love tour, Sade said on more than one occasion that it may be her last (which is unacceptable because I have yet to see her live). After releasing an album and touring the world, Sade loves to return to virtual obscurity. She is the queen of going off the grid and the ease with which she does this is part of her lore and mystique. Sade doesn’t give many interviews, and you know good and well that she’s not on social media. It’s clearly not about the fame with her; it’s all about the music. That’s what makes Sade even more respected, treasured and missed when she disappears off of the face of the earth.
Now, Lauryn Hill…where to begin? The Fugees hip-hop songstress was on top of the world with her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She skillfully balanced love and heartbreak with freeing lyrics that reminded us of our greatness and our potential. Miseducation garnered Hill five Grammys, or maybe it was a billion (she was holding quite a few at the end of the night), and then she basically disappeared, only to reappear with her poorly received MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 album. It was followed up by a self-imposed exile fueled by limited engagements, showing up super late to shows, tax woes, and dissing sprees from critics, former group members, and so-called fans who claimed the singer went off the deep end. While we rightfully want more music from Ms. Hill, we can’t fault the woman for growing or switching up and trying on new styles, musically and creatively. Isn’t that what artists do best? Still, we long for her full on return and hope that maybe the best is yet to come.
When Missy Elliott burst onto the music scene, everything about her was bold and unapologetic, from her lyrics to her fashion sense, and her videos. Aside from her music, Elliott has helped launch and guide the careers of singers like Aaliyah, Nelly Furtado, Keyshia Cole and countless others. Let’s not forget that her surprise appearance during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime performance stole the show. Perry fans wanted more from this “new” artist, and that goes to show you how long she has been out of the spotlight. In recent years, Elliott has been vocal about her autoimmune disorder, Graves’ disease, which at times kept her from even being able to hold a pen to write music. But Elliott says she’s anxious to return. I think her fans are more anxious to hear whatever goodness she has in store.
Despite desperately wanting these artists to come out with more music already, fans get it. We’re not privy to the intricacies of the music industry or the inner workings of these artists’ lives – the personal triumphs and devastating blows. We’re not there as they raise their children or spend precious time with their families. Nor do most of us know anything about the pressures of fame. So when fans get word of canceled concerts, delayed albums, or absolute silence from our favorite artists, we have to remember that they’re human too. They bleed, laugh and love just like we do. And just like us, they need to live their lives. (Everyone can’t be like Beyoncé, dropping albums all willy nilly.) But their music is the soundtrack to our daily lives; their voices timeless, classic and ever-inspiring. And no matter how many times we’ve heard their hits, once a song of theirs comes on the radio, it’s like coming home. Not many artists can evoke that sentiment. So if you’re reading this Maxwell, Sade, Lauryn Hill or Missy Elliott, we’re ready whenever you are.
If the Super Bowl proved anything, it was that Missy Elliot is severely missed; and perhaps, her impact on music is grossly understated. The woman is a legend in this game. Her music still holds up today, which is the reason why her music started flying off the digital shelves, if you will, after she performed during halftime.
And since that performance reminded us all how much Missy means to us, Alyson Stoner, the adorable little White girl who danced in several of Missy’s videos and was also a huge Disney child star, decided to put together a nice tribute video for our girl.
See what Alyson, who is 21 now, looks like these days and of course, check out the dance moves, which are still impeccable.
After an 18 year departure from the music industry, Jodeci is coming back with a statement. It’s a song called “Nobody Wins.” The song brings awareness to the issue of Domestic Violence among all people but particularly within the African American community.
The song deals with abuse from both men and women, with Jodeci singing about how women hit men too.
The song starts with a rap verse from B.O.B. And then Jodeci comes in with the chorus.
“Nobody wins when we fight, fuss and argue.
We say we’re leaving but we never do.”
Later, K-Ci comes in and sings from a man being abused by a woman.
“Stop throwing those pots and pans
We don’t have to use our hands.”
And there is pretty compelling footage of real life and paid actresses being battered by their romantic partners. There’s also the horrifying footage of Janay Rice walking into that infamous elevator with Ray Rice.
Throughout the lyric video there are numbers for the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1800-799-SAFE), the website for the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC.org) and the public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence NoMore.org.
This song from this group is particularly interesting considering the volatile relationship that K-Ci shared with Mary J Blige back in the ’90’s and DeVante Swing’s violent nature when he was dealing with artists like Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Sista and Ginuwine in Da Bassment. Missy detailed his abusive nature in her episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music.”
But people can change if they really want to and maybe that’s what this song represents for them. Plus the prevalence and frequency with which domestic violence stories have taken the forefront in the media this past year, it’s kind of hard to ignore.
Take a listen to “Nobody Wins” in the lyric video below and let us know what you think about it?
Another highly anticipated reunion from tonight’s Soul Train Awards was a throwback performance of “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)” featuring Lil Kim, Da Brat and Missy Elliott.
Angie Martinez, who was on the original remix, was visibly absent from the performance. Last month when asked by Rickey Smiley why Angie would not be joining the rest of the ladies on the stage, Da Brat revealed that she wasn’t really sure, but hinted that there may have been some issues with production. However, as they say, the show must go on…and it certainly did.
Fellow female emcees MC Lyte, YoYo and Lady of Rage joined the trio on stage, as well as R&B group Total.
Watch the performance below.
It’s been quite a while since Missy, Timbaland and Ginuwine have collaborated, but it looks like the trio may be preparing to reunite for an upcoming project. Last night on Instagram, Timb shared a collage with photos of himself, Ginuwine and Missy with a caption that read:
“I got a surprise!!!!!!!!!!!”
Ginuwine also shared the same image.
“Could it happen 1 more time?????” he captioned the photo.
Missy also seemed to cosign the whispers.
It’s unclear what led to their desire to reunite, but perhaps reminiscing in the wake of Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic, which Timbaland mercilessly dragged, had something to do with it. Also, Ginuwine has always seemed pretty open to hitting the lab and creating musical magic with his former producers. In 2004, he even discussed wanting to create a movie based in his experiences with them titled, The Basement.
“I’m working on a movie called The Basement about me, Missy and Timbaland and what all of us went through,” he told MTV News. “I do want to get their OK to use certain things and portray them in certain ways. It’s definitely going to be us involved in it. I definitely want to be in it also. Hopefully that will work. I’m trying to work on it as we speak.”
Would you be interested in seeing these three collaborate for some new music?
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise.
Well, well, well, this was quite a pleasant surprise. Pharrell Williams—who is racking up the awards tonight—opened the 2014 BET Awards with his latest single, “Come Get It Bae.” Then, when we thought his performance was about to be over, the super catchy beat for “Pass That Dutch” dropped and out walks Missy Elliot with a microphone in hand!
We can’t remember the last time we saw the 42-year-old hit-maker perform live, but homegirl did not miss a step, spitting her verses and popping those dance moves like she never left. We are soooo here for her return to the limelight.
I want to Thank my brother @Pharrell for believing in me and showing me so much love on his set! May God continue to bless u!
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) June 30, 2014
Last week, we told you that Missy dropped a verse on Faith Evans’ new track, “I Deserve It.”
Check out Missy’s performance with Pharrell below.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise