Missy Elliott’s New Song, ‘WTF,’ Returns Her To Former Position As Queen Of Hip Hop

Missy Elliott’s new song puts her right back where she left off. After teasing fans with appearances throughout the year, Missy Elliott’s new song proves her still capable. She’s finally here with a new video. The just released single, “WTF (Where They From),” came out today. Missy has the same swag here that defined her game-changing career as perhaps the most successful female rapper. The innovative, futuristic sound is intact, and leaves no mystery as to why she has so many platinum albums.

Although it contains a sound totally identifiable with Elliott, “WTF” isn’t quite the step up that we usually expect in between Missy albums. Of course, it’s been 10 years since The Cookbook, Missy’s last studio album, so although the sound will be familiar to Missy fans, the new generation of music fans can also get a sense of what type of artist she is before she changes it up on us again with further futuristic output.

As Rolling Stone reports, the track has Pharrell Williams in puppet form as he drops his verses. Missy and Pharrell worked together this year on The Voice. Pharrell will likely be handling further production duties on this seventh Missy album. And there is no doubt we’ll see some production work from super producer and longtime collaborator Timbaland.

Missy was before her time back during her most active periods of the 1990s and early 2000s, and she still is now. But the competition in hip hop, and among female hip hop artists in particular, is not the same as it used to be. Nicki Minaj is at the forefront. Although she doesn’t hold the trendsetting weight of Missy Elliott, she still compares rather favorably when compared to Missy’s past competition, when it seemed like she was the only woman in hip hop, besides Lil Kim, shaking up the hip hop scene.

As Hip Hop DX reports, despite not releasing an album in 10 years, the multi-talented Missy was far from inactive. She still collaborated with other artists, released singles without releasing albums, and continued to produce and write for other artists. A number of artists owe their success to Missy’s writing and production work.

Missy’s shining moment this year came with her appearance at the 2015 Super Bowl. She materialized out of nowhere during a halftime show headlined by Katy Perry. Lenny Kravitz also showed up before Elliott came out to finish off the performance. Fans went wild as she performed a medley of her hits. She still had the dance moves, and a seriously skilled backup dance crew that even Janet Jackson had to smile at. She nearly stole the show from Perry, and she definitely took it from Kravitz. And that’s no easy feat on a night where Katy Perry rode out on a giant, diamond, robotic tiger.

After the performance, Missy Elliott’s music was embraced by a new generation of listeners who hopped on iTunes to download Missy songs. All the downloading brought Missy back into the spotlight in a flash, and made her music, some of which was released 10 years ago, once again relevant and chart topping. This overnight resurgence in interest created the ideal climate for a new album release.

All of Missy’s previous solo albums reached platinum, except for The Cookbook. Her 2002 album Under Construction obtained double platinum status. She’s also got a collection of gold and silver awards as a guest artist on other people’s albums.

A few months back, on Independence Day, Elliott performed at the ESSENCE Festival. But due to technical difficulties she was cut short. She didn’t even get a chance to bring out Monica. Essence later brought the two of them out to offer an apology to fans and to the two talented women. And Atlantic Records appeases fans again with this offering of Missy Elliott’s new song. There is no word yet on the new album details, though.

[Photo by Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images for H&M]