‘No exaggeration,’ Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott is back

Andrew Hopf, Contributing Writer

After a decade-long hiatus, The Queen is returning to the throne.

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, whose unforgettable hit songs served as the unofficial soundtrack of our middle school days, has released her first new single from an album, “WTF (Where They From),” since 2006’s “We Run This.”

Despite her break from recording, she has remained an influential figure in the world of music through her songwriting and producing skills. Artists such as Destiny’s Child, TLC, Aaliyah and Mary J. Blige (cut her some slack, she has been out of the game for a while) are only a few of the many with whom she has worked and influenced.

Elliott played a formative role in not only the young lives of Millennials everywhere, but, alongside her childhood friend and fellow renowned producer Timbaland, in the development of rap music into what it is today, with many claiming that Elliott’s early work was far ahead of its time.

With songs like “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Work It” and “Lose Control” and five platinum-certified albums (the only female rapper to accomplish this feat), Elliott quickly established herself as a formidable lyricist and a visionary and “WTF” only proves that time has not dulled her inherent talent.

At first listen, “WTF” seems to harken back to classic Missy Elliott. One particular line where Elliott brags about how her “body be thick like a biscuit” particularly evokes her “cute face, chubby waist, thick legs in shape” quip from 2005’s “Lose Control.” But make no mistake, Miss Misdemeanor is no one trick pony. “”WTF,” with its drum line-esque beat and lyrics which playfully toe the line between aggressive and confident is an instant classic, on par with Ciara’s 2004 hit “1, 2 Step,” penned by and featuring Elliott.

“WTF,” featuring Pharrell, effortlessly merges Elliott’s trademark forceful-yet-empowering vocal style, which seem to get progressively quicker, with an uptempo, drum-driven beat, and will mark a triumphant return to the studio by Elliott.

The song, along with the music video, was released on Nov. 12. The video features Elliott in a series of futuristic outfits and an eye-catching display of two marionette puppets modeled after Elliott and Pharrell rapping along to the song. Age has not slowed Elliott down by any stretch of the imagination, and at age 44, the Virginia-born rapper can still dance with (and perhaps outdance) the best of them.

“WTF” is a danceable ode to Elliott’s hometown pride, with a rapidly repeated hook of “that’s how they do it where we from,” which will no doubt be on repeat at every social function across campus. Rating this objectively, without any sentimentality clouding my judgement, I give this song 4 out of 5 “Andrews.”