Missy's back!!!
November 12, 2015 6:58 PM   Subscribe

After ten years doing mostly production work, Missy finally drops a new track. And lord, it RAWKS. [NSFW, SLYT]
posted by Purposeful Grimace (106 comments total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bass line brought to you by Erotic City.
posted by four panels at 7:06 PM on November 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fucking amazing. Man. I hope she keeps putting out singles until she's into her 80s.

Also, I want a Pharrell marionette.
posted by duffell at 7:08 PM on November 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I've watched this about hundred times today and keep finding little details that make me stand up and cheer, but damn, it is so nice to be excited about a new Missy Elliott track. I always like watching people who are excellent at what they do reach new highs but having it be a 40-something woman in hip hop that I've admired for 20 years just feels gooood.
posted by annathea at 7:13 PM on November 12, 2015 [43 favorites]


Missy Elliott is the best.
posted by migrantology at 7:18 PM on November 12, 2015




Here's an interview with Missy Elliott's makeup artist - she mentions where you can get that phenomenal blue lipstick.

I didn't realize how much I'd missed Missy until today. I'm glad she's back and I'm glad her new song is getting so much love.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:37 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like this a lot.
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on November 12, 2015


The only way that could be more about throwing Miley Cyrus under a bus would be if it sampled actual Miley Cyrus being actually thrown under an actual bus.
posted by mhoye at 7:43 PM on November 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Which I fully support, to be clear.
posted by mhoye at 7:44 PM on November 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


This. This is exactly what hip-hop and I needed today.
posted by numaner at 7:54 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not a huge fan of the track, but I think the direction of the video is genius. I want a Missy Elliot nightlight now.

Also, I don't know if this is just me - but this reminds me so much of everything I loved about mid-90s cyberpunk aesthetic style.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:56 PM on November 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Missy for President.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:58 PM on November 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I could be wrong but I see it more as a celebration of Miley and twerking. Shit is fun even if it look dumb.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:06 PM on November 12, 2015


So many good tunes. I keep commenting it. But SO MANY GOOD TUNES. And quite a video.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:11 PM on November 12, 2015


This tweet and those that follow make a pretty compelling argument that it's 100% about Miley and cultural appropriation.
God I missed Missy
posted by Uncle at 8:17 PM on November 12, 2015 [32 favorites]


and the way she randomly stops in the middle of a line to whiiiiiiiiiiiiine a syllable. (You don't find that intensely iiiiiiiiiiiritating? Reeeeeeally?)

Think of it mimicking the stop and go frenetic pace of New York City. The sound of the subway rattling while you're reenacting the crazy party from last night with your friends and can you believe it? No waaaay! She really did it did it. Jumped out in front of everyone. Who? Everyone!

Sometimes if you listen there's even some quality of rhythm in the sound of escalators.

Part of the fun of music is knowing you're the culmination of the totality of your life, and listening to a song for a very brief moment you've arrived at the same place as someone else.

You could check it out, maybe ask why they like it. See what they're up to, where they're going next.

Or you could say no thanks, put your earbuds in and keep walking. We wish you had stayed, but it's ok.

We'll still be here dancing.
posted by four panels at 8:26 PM on November 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Damn. She just rules. Missy and her "Boys, you just keep doing whatever the fuck you're doing, I'll just be over here being FUCKING COMPETENT BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS" style got me through my undergrad in computer science and I am SO SO GLAD she's still making music, music worthy of her.

Plus, I'm happy listening to any song where a woman raps and the guest verse is by a dude who's a superstar in his own right but her flow makes his seem dull as hell.
posted by town of cats at 8:27 PM on November 12, 2015 [32 favorites]


🎧🙏
posted by frijole at 8:28 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Omg.

I have always *loved* her stuff with timbaland.

This is so good. Like prep you for the train so you can fight the school kids for a seat good.

I am so getting a seat today.

Outta my way Miley, I'm taking your seat.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:35 PM on November 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


HI MISSY
posted by poffin boffin at 8:36 PM on November 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I could be wrong but I see it more as a celebration of Miley and twerking. Shit is fun even if it look dumb.

You're right...about being wrong.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:44 PM on November 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, what twerking?

There is no twerking in this video.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:44 PM on November 12, 2015


i love missy so much and i will rebuke any critique.
posted by nadawi at 8:45 PM on November 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am such an olds....but was that visually reminiscent of Enter the Ninja at parts?
posted by ian1977 at 8:48 PM on November 12, 2015


i love it all except for that airhorn.
posted by talaitha at 8:49 PM on November 12, 2015


Hi Missy?! What's up, fools?
posted by sixswitch at 9:07 PM on November 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


MISSY. YES. OH MY LORD.

Love to catch Les Twins in the background -- have they had an FPP yet?? *searches*
posted by missmary6 at 9:27 PM on November 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not since 2010, but here's the FPP on Les Twins in case anyone has missed admiring them.

*hits replay on Missy*
posted by missmary6 at 9:29 PM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yasss Queen!
Lyrically I'm

Optimus Prime
And can we talk about Pharrell's amazing contribution?
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 9:52 PM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lord, have mercy
posted by triggerfinger at 9:58 PM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked the costumes and the marionettes a lot. The music is ok but not as good as the visuals for me. Ten years is a long break, I hope she is recharged and ready to keep making new music.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:20 PM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


the guest verse is by a dude who's a superstar in his own right but her flow makes his seem dull as hell

Missy can do that to anyone, and Pharrell i probably used to it considering he only collabs with the very best.
posted by cell divide at 10:22 PM on November 12, 2015


That Lichtenstein look, holy shitballs, extraordinary.
posted by Mizu at 10:37 PM on November 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I didn't know she was missying.
posted by oluckyman at 10:48 PM on November 12, 2015




Love it.

As always, she directed this with Dave Meyers, who spoke recently about his career, including issues of race/culture.
posted by progosk at 11:40 PM on November 12, 2015


That Lichtenstein look, holy shitballs, extraordinary.
posted by Mizu at 1:37 AM on November 13


Yeah, she turns around from Lichtenstein to 8 Ball jacket.

Possible references:

> Lichtenstein appropriated comic books whereas 8 ball is the real deal.

> Lichtenstein references the printing of someone else's Instagram pages then selling them as $90K a piece art.

> The 8 Ball jacket is a shoutout to Michael Hoban who designed the jacket in 1990.

> She's from Virginia, 8 Ball jacket is culturally 90s New York hustler wish fulfillment, Lichtenstein is from Manhattan and twerking is from the streets of New Orleans.

> Miley Cyrus took a shortcut to 24 million twitter followers and is using street culture as plastic artifice that exposes manufactured fame.

> Why did everyone stop dancing.
posted by four panels at 11:44 PM on November 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


.ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gnaht ym tup I
posted by adept256 at 11:57 PM on November 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Oddly. I was alerted to this by NPR.

Powers says Elliot's rhyme style remains unique, pivoting between clever turns of phrase and compelling bursts of nonsense language.

I've never really thought about that. The line I quoted above is a prime example though. When other rappers do that it seems lazy or stupid. It's not a shortcut for Missy though, just another tool in the rhyme-box.
posted by adept256 at 12:09 AM on November 13, 2015


I have never said this before but I think this is the only thing there is to say:

"YAASSSSS QUEEEEEEEN!!!11!!!!1"
posted by like_neon at 1:51 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I grew up on Missy Elliott. She was one of the women in hip hop who drove home for me that yes, this is something that women can excel in, too. And it kept getting proven over and over again while we danced - hard - to her tracks at parties, school dances, and at the rink. My friends choreographed dances to her at summer camp and blasted her from their first cars. And even to this day, one of us can randomly say "pass that dutch" or shout "hollaaaaaa" and the rest of us immediately follow up with the rest of the refrain.

And the funny thing? Is that while people may never have heard of her, her influence on pop music extended well beyond the year that she stopped recording. Other artists have been doing callbacks to her work for years. That's pretty damned impressive for someone who last released an album 10 years ago.

Seeing an iconic childhood figure bounce back from a scary health condition and return to something that they love gives me hope. It's incredibly inspiring. I absolutely *cannot* wait to see what else she's going to produce, now that her health has improved.
posted by Ashen at 1:53 AM on November 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


Tried it out on some monitors that have 70 - 20kHz response. It is helped by having some bass response, so it will sound good coming out of a proper PA system, most people are going to be missing half the song by not having frequency response under 100Hz on their systems.

The lyrics are going to have to be heavily censored for radio play, especially Pharrell's nonsensical contribution.
posted by asok at 2:13 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Missy be puttin' it down
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:15 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


As regards twerking, I don't think there is any argument that the origin is Mapouka. I know that there were Mapouka (caution - African pop music, not safe for work) VHS videos on sale 15 years ago, quickly followed by a lot of DVDs.
'Mapouka is part of what it means to be Ivorian; it is part of the heritage of the country, even if it shocks. The controversy about it exemplifies the prevailing class, generational and religious tensions, and their moral underpinnings.
... Mapouka is also a reaffirmation of the functionality of traditional dancing for which shaking one's hips and bottom is neither immoral or vulgar, as people with puritan Christian values would claim.'
Anyway, repeated listens to this Missy Elliott song are improving my appreciation for everything except the vocals, which are becoming increasingly grating.
posted by asok at 3:04 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Are there many other hip-hop tracks that reference Freemasonry?
posted by Devonian at 3:07 AM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Watched this last night, lost it immediately due to the DISCO-BALL TRACKSUIT, then continued losing it throughout due to the music and ridiculously great video.
posted by greenish at 3:27 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic. She's also fantastic guesting on Janet Jackson's "BURNITUP."
posted by blucevalo at 3:48 AM on November 13, 2015


DJ please
pick up your phone
I'm on the request line
posted by triggerfinger at 4:40 AM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't understand what so shock-wavy about this... I've been into rap for over 30 years and watching and listening to this bit, while it's groovy, I'm just not getting my socks knocked off. Am I missing something here?

Giving it more thought... I think I know the answer I was looking for: the reason it's hep is because it's contemporary.
posted by rmmcclay at 4:42 AM on November 13, 2015


A collaboration from the best of the best from my hometown: Missy, Pharrell and Timbaland. Hard to believe its been 10 years since Cookbook. It makes me feel happy to have Missy back doing what she does.
posted by Lame_username at 4:46 AM on November 13, 2015


The reason it's hep are:
1. It sounds good.
2. Missy Elliott and all she conotes have returned.

The pleasure you take in 1. has a statistically significant positive correlation and dependent relationship with 2.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:55 AM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just put this on the office sound system for Friday tunes. The bass is making my desk shake.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:57 AM on November 13, 2015


Devonian - Are there many other hip-hop tracks that reference Freemasonry?

Yes, there are many according to the Freemasons.

But seriously there are many references to just about anything in popular culture, politics and everything else that happens in the world, that is the nature of folk music.
posted by asok at 5:02 AM on November 13, 2015


"The debate on Hip Hop's ties to the Illuminati have been going on for some time now." - that's a wild page, Asok. But I dunno about the general inclusivity of the genre. I've never found anything about ham radio in rap. Not even MC Frontalot's gone there.
posted by Devonian at 5:15 AM on November 13, 2015


'Are there many other hip-hop tracks that reference Freemasonry?'


Literally hundreds, if not thousands. Seriously, it's a HUGE theme in rap, and has been since (I would say) the mid-90s. If you do count Illuminati references, the number skyrockets.
posted by still bill at 6:16 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The lyrics are going to have to be heavily censored for radio play

Who the hell listens to the radio?
posted by Mick at 6:37 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Body be thick like a bisque.
posted by swift at 6:44 AM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm holding out hope for another Super Bowl appearance, or even better, a tour.

She's one of my favorite all-time artists: employs dancers of all ages, genders, nationalities? check. Is sexy without commodifying her own sexuality to sell her music? check. Lyrical genius? check. Smart hip-hop with beats that make her accessible to mainstream audiences? check. Humble despite having more money and talent than most current producers or artists? check!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:48 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is sexy without commodifying her own sexuality to sell her music? check.

Can you clarify this? For instance, the lyrics in WTF certainly sexualize her, and my understanding is that part of the reason for her more outré wardrobe choices is because “conventional” sexy outfits are less likely to work with her frame.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:57 AM on November 13, 2015


That is, I see her as commodifying her own specific sexuality. But perhaps I’m unclear on the meaning of the term.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:58 AM on November 13, 2015


my understanding is that part of the reason for her more outré wardrobe choices is because “conventional” sexy outfits are less likely to work with her frame.

Conventional sexy outfits could totally work for her frame - I just don't think it's her style. It's not as though there aren't countless plus-size women (models or otherwise) out there wearing conventionally sexy outfits on a daily basis (and looking fantastic). And she has the money and the power to ensure that if she wanted to rock that kind of look, she would have absolutely no problem making it happen.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:08 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


'Are there many other hip-hop tracks that reference Freemasonry?'

Yeah. Rap is just wild crazy obsessed with conspiracy theories.

A lot of rappers come on to Alex Jones' wing-nut conspiracy theory raving lunatic radio show. I can think of KRS-One and Prodigy (from Mobb Deep) off the top of my head.

I think African-Americans have good reason to think that the world is out to get them, however, so it makes sense.
posted by dis_integration at 7:18 AM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Illuminati connection comes as a complete revelation to me.

[darkstarbombvoice] I must think on this further [/darkstarbombvoice]
posted by Devonian at 7:34 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Conventional sexy outfits could totally work for her frame - I just don't think it's her style. It's not as though there aren't countless plus-size women (models or otherwise) out there wearing conventionally sexy outfits on a daily basis (and looking fantastic). And she has the money and the power to ensure that if she wanted to rock that kind of look, she would have absolutely no problem making it happen.

Sorry - to be clear, that comment was derived from a statement I saw (somewhere, but I can't find the cite) by the designer of the “inflated trash bag” outfit Elliott wore in the video for The Rain, which was made in part to deal with the fact that Elliott doesn’t have a stereotypical hip-hop body. So, I suppose I was appealing to the (possibly paraphrased) authority of a single designer from aaaaages ago, and the world & hip-hop culture have changed since then - in part because of Elliott herself. Nonetheless, I’m still curious about how it could be that Elliott isn’t commodifying her sexuality.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:37 AM on November 13, 2015


Oh my god this is amazing! So glad she's back!
posted by ellieBOA at 7:45 AM on November 13, 2015


town of cats: I'm happy listening to any song where a woman raps and the guest verse is by a dude who's a superstar in his own right but her flow makes his seem dull as hell.

Yus. Pharrell sounds so flat, it kind of kills the track for a moment for me. Here's hoping for some remixes that drop his verses (or a capellas and instrumentals where I can do that myself :)).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM on November 13, 2015


The first 20 seconds, I thought M.I.A. was in the mix.
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:56 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


So this will be on repeat for me for a while. Can i join the overwhelming chorus of holy shitsnacks Missy is back? I love the video, love that she is celebrating some sexy dancing without making it overly sexual or demeaning - just a really talented dance crew (as always). Love her VERY talented make up artist. Just, loving everything about this.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 8:03 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am so getting a seat today.

did you get a seat
posted by Hoopo at 8:13 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


great song!
posted by supermedusa at 8:21 AM on November 13, 2015


".ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gnaht ym tup I"

Heh, so what this refers to is, on "Work It", right after Missy says "I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it", there's some vocals that play right after that are backmasked (played backwards). So I remember recording it to wav, reversing it, playing it and hearing "I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it" which was total genius. Since the beat was constant, it fit in with the tempo of the song, and it was a direct reference to the statement itself (since it was that lyrics played in reverse.) Anyways, it was awesome.
posted by I-baLL at 8:23 AM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


a statement I saw (somewhere, but I can't find the cite) by the designer of the “inflated trash bag” outfit Elliott wore in the video for The Rain

Was it this?

Pharrell sounds so flat, it kind of kills the track for a moment for me.

During that verse I went on a little journey of discovery, from "Wow, whoever this guy is, he sure does not benefit by comparison to Missy Elliott" to "Seriously, why did they put this guy on the track?" to "Oh, it's Pharrell. Well, I guess it could have been worse."

Also, this is great.
posted by DaDaDaDave at 8:32 AM on November 13, 2015


And this had led me down a happy YouTube trail of old Missy videos:

The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

All N My Grill
posted by ellieBOA at 8:33 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, Pharrell is not at all Missy, but the mason/occasion rhyme is the type of thing that I just eat up.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:52 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pharrell not only name-checks the Freemasons (of which I is one), he mentions Hermes Trismegistus [eponysterical]!

I love absolutely everything about this. As a fan of prog rock, I've always thought of Missy Elliott as prog-hiphop. There's a performance-art quality of her music and videos, from her unusual rapping style (the starts and stops) to the lyrics to the production to the dancing to the video imagery. She's always engaging, and her music is never boring. More!
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:01 AM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Is sexy without commodifying her own sexuality to sell her music? check.

i think she just commodifies it differently than, say, beyonce. some of that probably used to be down to her size and how she was marketed, but part of it just her personality as well, i think. it's certainly not down her size now. but the lyrics to this and songs like work it - well, she's been pretty upfront with casting herself as a sexual participant. i think the difference is that she rarely casts herself as an object which can be jarring to see with how the popular music sausage usually gets made (this should not be read as a slam on the women who do cast themselves as objects, there are interesting things to see/hear/unpack about both sides).
posted by nadawi at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the way that Missy sexualizes herself -- the whole "you know you want this" vibe -- reminds me of nothing more than like a dominant's dirty talk even though it isn't always explicitly dirty. (In case this isn't clear, I mean this as a huge compliment.)

It straddles this line between straight-up doing the nasty and playful joy, and it makes me feel good about the world in about 200 different ways.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:31 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sweet fancy Moses, there is just SO MUCH HERE.

Lots has been said already about the outfits and makeup and dancing—as well as Missy's kinetic flow—but I want to also point to the beats on this track, which are giving me near-obscene amounts of pleasure. From the start of the song itself, there's this bassline that glides down almost an octave (a major 7th, to my ear) over 8 beats, repeating every 8th bar. Just as it reaches the bottom of its downward sweep, it cuts out and then comes back as a percussive bass-kick element. Every few bars, there is a pair of sixteenth-note, mid-frequency tom-toms that comes in on the upbeat to the next bar, which lends this fantastic bounce to the whole rhythmic cycle and further accentuates the return of the first beat / beginning of the next cycle. Through most of the song, the drum programming provides an asymmetrical 3+3+2+3+5 division of the bar that gives a delicious twist-and-snap movement to the overall groove. There's still so much more to find in this thing.

p.s. bonus points: anyone else noticed that the Lichtenstein/8-ball sequence also flips Missy's image horizontally? Watch which side of her face has the polka-dot pattern
posted by LMGM at 10:43 AM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Just because black people are dancing doesn't mean its twerking.

THERE IS NO TWERKING HERE!
posted by hal_c_on at 12:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


um, a couple of the marionettes do seem to include twerking in their dance steps...
posted by nadawi at 12:30 PM on November 13, 2015


Just to confirm it sounds huge coming out of a set of proper speakers, and Pharrell still sounds terrible. He needs to go back to school.

Not sure I can get behind a song that exists pretty much solely to diss another female performer though.
posted by asok at 1:07 PM on November 13, 2015


If this song really is about cultural appropriation/Miley then Missy's opinion must have changed since writing:

Girl, girl, get that cash
If it's 9 to 5 or shakin' your ass
Ain't no shame, ladies do your thing
Just make sure you ahead of the game

posted by laptolain at 1:09 PM on November 13, 2015


i think you can support women choosing their own path and still feel a kind of way about cultural appropriation. i don't see why holding both opinions suggests a change of heart.
posted by nadawi at 1:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Missy's lyrics have always been about successful women by any means necessary (probably because she came up in an industry full of men).

It would be a radical change if she is stating that cultural appropriation isn't a legitimate means of coming up in music. For such an eclectic and collaborative artist coming out against cultural appropriation would say a lot about where the music industry might be heading. I hope she speaks on all these things in the near future.
posted by laptolain at 1:19 PM on November 13, 2015


i don't take the lyrics to say whoever can't do it, but that they look silly doing it.
posted by nadawi at 1:23 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


What's wrong with looking silly if you're having fun.
posted by laptolain at 1:25 PM on November 13, 2015


I think it would be quite a radical change if she is stating that cultural appropriation isn't a legitimate means of coming up in music

I disagree. You can absolutely believe that "by any means necessary" doesn't include being trifling. Which Cyrus is, and that is why they've been called out more than once on somebody's track.

And frankly, since Cyrus is going to continue to get read like it's finals week, I would rather it come from women than male performers.

*Edited bc I recalled that Cyrus identifies as genderfluid
posted by Ashen at 1:28 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Being called out on a track doesn't mean anything. 99% of hip hop artists have been called out by someone for something.

One person's trifling is another person's hustle. It's all a matter of perspective. Sauce Walka would tell you Drake is trifling yet no one can really deny what drake brings to the game.
posted by laptolain at 2:09 PM on November 13, 2015


...i don't even understand the point you're making anymore. if it doesn't mean anything according to you how does it indicate some grand shift in opinion for missy elliot?
posted by nadawi at 2:11 PM on November 13, 2015


Everyone has been called out in hip-hop, that's barely worth bringing up as an indication of guilt. What's worth paying attention to here is that Missy is doing the calling out, a woman with such a powerful career.

If Missy comes out against cultural appropriation it's gonna put the whole industry on notice and really legitimize the concept for those who question it
posted by laptolain at 2:21 PM on November 13, 2015


One person's trifling is another person's hustle. It's all a matter of perspective.

No, not in the context of Cyrus. I don't really feel like dredging up every article written about them, nor combing through my Twitter history for quotes, but this conversation about them and their appropriation antics has been going on for a long time, and other high-powered performers have had things to say about it. Missy Elliott's participation in that conversation is not especially game-changing precisely because this is not new, but it is valuable that she's joined the chorus line of people who find it...trifling.

Cyrus' "hustle" is on the backs of Black women. Pretty sure Missy Elliott isn't here for that. I would be floored to find an argument that she is.
posted by Ashen at 2:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


We weren't ready for this in 1982 but that could have been shot in 1982.
posted by whuppy at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2015


jesus christ did he just mention hermes trismegistus


this is magnificent except for the refrain which is insufferable but that, too, has a magnificence
posted by waxbanks at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2015


um, a couple of the marionettes do seem to include twerking in their dance steps...

Grinding is not twerking. But if you can show me at what time/mark they are twerking, I'd appreciate it.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:15 PM on November 13, 2015


Girl, girl, get that cash
If it's 9 to 5 or shakin' your ass
Ain't no shame, ladies do your thing
Just make sure you ahead of the game


You know she was talking about how Eve had come out as a former stripper, and missy was all supportive of her and not calling her names like a lot of other people, right?

Also, you don't fuck with the First Lady of the RuffRyders.

Ride or die
posted by hal_c_on at 11:19 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


You know she was talking about how Eve had come out as a former stripper, and missy was all supportive of her and not calling her names like a lot of other people, right?

Both readings seem plausible, and both may be true.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:22 PM on November 13, 2015


What is the other reading?

That as long as you're a woman, missy gives you permission to do whatever to get cash?

I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be down with Imelda Marco's shoe collection. And she definitely is not in support of some privileged white girl with rich-daddy money doing...whatever it is she's doing.

You did listen to the song, right?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:09 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I didn't totally hear this as aimed at Miley Cyrus, but I guess there's certainly some reference there. Shit, though, Missy can say what she wants without me wondering about when she changed her mind on something; she hasn't had a big record out to say much on for a long while. She may well have thought 'by any means necessary' meant, literally, any means 14 years ago, but maybe now she doesn't. I don't give a fuck.

Anyway, if she is talking about Miley Cyrus and cultural appropriation, isn't a HUGE part of the issue that, in that scenario, Miley Cyrus is behind the game (i.e., not innovating at all)?

Also, DaDaDaDave; Pharrell is great on Mr. Me Too! It's his best appearance. That doofy 'whisper rap' shit peaked and ended with that verse, AFAIC.
posted by still bill at 7:21 AM on November 15, 2015


The whole 'sticking out your tongue, you're too young even though it might be fun' is definitely a hit on Miley and her pornographic shows.

But 'cultural appropriation'? That's such a bullshit term to begin with. It used to be called 'cross-polination', or just 'an artist's influences'. Considering the amount of inspiration Missy Elliot gets and uses (the whole asian martial arts/philosophy thing, the Indian stuff) from other cultures ...

No, I think it's much more likely Missy is rebuking Miley for pandering to such low-level, base, easy to reach and please emotions. She thinks it's triflin' ... trivial ... too easy and unbecoming.

Shake your ass for money in a stripclub, but only if you're old enough.

Hell, yeah, now that's a message some teenagers could use.
posted by MacD at 5:47 PM on November 15, 2015


jesus christ did he just mention hermes trismegistus

Hermès Trismegistus
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:32 PM on November 15, 2015


Loved the music and the video, and was much amused to see that the locations are all in Downtown LA.
posted by mogget at 10:27 AM on November 16, 2015


Ah, went out of town and didn't see Going to Maine's comment until now. Sorry!

My remark about commodifying her own sexuality is that 1) she doesn't put out airbrushed/scantily clad album covers or magazine pictorials to sell her music; 2) her "dirty talk" in lyrics is more akin to the macho braggodocio espoused by her male peers; and 3) AFAIK, she's never once given an interview discussing her love/sex life, or used it to chase press mentions/album sales. Yes, she talks about sex in her lyrics; however, she doesn't use her physical assets to drive music sales.

What she wears in videos isn't usually traditionally "sexy," either, though I think that's more about her personally being comfortable when she's dancing on camera. Filming often requires many takes from different angles, and I applaud her for staying fly and dancing her ass off without looking trussed up and uncomfortable all the time.

If she wants to add more sex appeal, she can get a guest artist (Ciara, for example) and hit that mark on the video/track.

There have been rumors about her before, but she herself has never (to my knowledge, anyway) addressed her romantic life "on the record." I promise you've never read a single tabloid story about her breaking up or getting engaged to somebody, and if you have, you better link it here (I'd be very grateful!).

Hell, even the coverage of her battle with Graves Disease garnered very sparse coverage. I had to tell my second-closest friend after the Super Bowl appearance, and she LOVES Missy Elliott.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:46 PM on November 16, 2015


For comparison's sake, think of all the people who will admit to not enjoying a particular pop/rock artist's music, but still watch the videos and read articles about, oh, let's say One Direction/Katy Perry/Joe Jonas/Madonna/Taylor Swift/etc. to see what the person they're sexually attracted to is wearing, who he/she is dating and sometimes dissect the artist's song lyrics looking for clues about the perceived individual who's the inspiration behind that song.

Even when we know exactly who Missy's rapping about, it's not controversy or curiosity about Missy's sex life that's pushing her singles up the charts.

Her incredible flows, beats and production value trump any cheap stunt a lesser artist might use to boost sales; Missy doesn't have to stoop to publicity tricks to sell her tracks. She's worth at least $50 million and doesn't need to work ever again. With all her production and writing credits, she can surf on royalty checks for life.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:55 PM on November 16, 2015


i feel like the thing you're describing is different than "commodifying her sexuality" - i get what you're saying, but a lot of that is just about being a private famous person. i mean, her health has nothing to do with her sexuality, for instance...and the other stuff you're describing is about acceptable sexuality which isn't really about her as a person but about how she/women are viewed.

i don't think she needs a ciara type to add sex appeal to her music - to me, her music has always had a healthy amount of sex appeal, which is something i've always appreciated, having sex appeal while never playing the object and not being a size 2.
posted by nadawi at 4:03 PM on November 16, 2015


I guess my thought is she's okay with commodifying sexuality IN GENERAL, but not hers personally. Because I basically agree with you, Nadawi; I just don't feel as though Missy's ever pushing her own image out as the "product: she's selling instead of the music. Though I totally get your point about privacy, and kudos to any celebs who keep a healthy distance from publicity and live privately. It's hard with all the paparazzi sites these days..

That said, I do think she's very sexy and confident about it as well. She radiates star quality and never half-asses anything.

Also, teenaged girls are well-served to have her for a role model. This is a great time in music and pop culture for her to re-enter the scene. She's self-made and incredibly talented in producing, writing, dancing, rapping, performing in general, and hell she even has a Guinness World Record.

I'll stop fangirling now, I swear.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:45 PM on November 16, 2015


CHER TWEETS MISSY
posted by Gin and Broadband at 4:01 AM on November 22, 2015


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