Music Review: @missyelliott #WTF (Where They From)

Yesterday, legendary, multi-talented emcee Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott dropped visuals and her song "WTF (Where They From)", a colorful, bold, classic Missy video featuring fellow Virginian and "new Black" producer, Pharell Williams.

It's been so long since we've seen a visual from Missy Elliott who has always been known for her naturally genuine creative edge and talent in front and behind the scenes. While Missy has seemed to taken a break from music in the past decade or so, she has been busy producing, performing at SuperBowl Halftime shows with Katy Perry, having "Ladies Night" reunions on Soul Train award shows, and creating songs and performing at concerts with Janet Jackson. Elliott has also been battling Graves disease, a hyperthyroid disorder which was a reason for her departure from the music industry.

Upon her entrance in the music industry in 1997, Missy Elliott has been a force to be reckoned with alongside with her partner in crime, producer Timbaland. Not only is she a spittin' sista, but she also sings, produces (as mentioned previously), dances, has written so many songs for other artists, and even has a list of protege artists. Without a doubt, Elliott is a true "renaissance woman" and has all the receipts to prove it. I recently found out she was singing the chorus on Fantasia Barrino's debut song "Free Yourself"! I remember growing up and my favorite Missy Elliott music videos were "Work It" and "Gossip Folks". I memorized the choreography and all the words, gettin' down in the bathroom listening to the songs on my headphones.

Missy Elliott has always been innovative in the style of her music, fashion, and her music videos. To this day all of these elements make and her work iconic. In a day and age where the thirst and desire to stand out and be seen as "creative" is alive and real, we most definitely have to give it up to Missy for her courage to genuinely be those things before it was trendy. To me, that's a true artist. What I also admire about Ms. Elliott is her courage to do what others feared, but is also her image. In the music industry, it's no secret female artists must have lighter skin, small physiques, straightened hair, among a list of other features and prerequesites that essentially have nothing to do with music. Ms. Elliott went against all odds as a plus size, darker skinned woman in the 1990's hip-hop industry, selling records and creating an impact based off pure talent. That's admirable and a reason she's an inspiration to me.

"WTF" is a cool, upbeat, dance anthem and the video was definitely poppin'. The sound of the song is definitely modern and compliments the current style of rap and hip-hop, but it still has the same classic Missy vibe to it. The costumes Missy and the dancers wore are great, I would wear that super shiny jumpsuit she had wore in the first scene in a heartbeat. As always, Missy has a futuristic meets urban fashion sense and aesthetic in her music videos. It was great to see actual choreography in a music video again! For whatever reason, choreographed dancing has not been as popular in hip-hop music videos as it was back in the day, being replaced with blatant liquor advertisements and bootiful models. My favorite scene was the puppets scene of Missy and Pharell. It was mad creepy, but so funny to see these damn puppets pop, lock, droppin', and boppin' it.

This is another fun, energetic track that will definitely get the clubs rockin' and I foresee many dancers creating choreography videos jammin' to this song. Although there is a modern, pop music inspired production to "WTF", the energy and style of the music video still remains flawlessly hip-hop. I must also compliment and commend Ms. Elliott for staying TRUE to herself and to her style in this new visual and song. In this era where veteran artists, especially in the r&b and hip-hop genres, are pressured to "stay relevant", many often abandon their originality to appeal to the younger audiences. When you're true to you, you always win. It's great to see an innovator of hip-hop come back in the scene. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more of Missy Elliott's future work, especially if she can grab some of her fellow 90's femcee on a track. 

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