Missy Elliott is back in the spotlight with new single
What better way to announce your return to the music industry than by dropping a hot new single? Though she was not on any sort of hiatus, Missy Elliott has been MIA, minus some performances here and there, since 2005 when her last album, “Cookbook,” was released. Between 2007 and 2014, she has been working in the studio with names such as Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, T-Pain and DJ Toomp.
Working behind the scenes had also been part of Elliott’s life these past years as she wrote and produced music herself including “Free Yourself” for Fantasia, “I’m His Only Woman” for Jennifer Hudson, “Everything to Me” for Monica, “Let It Go” for Keyshia Cole, and “Need U Bad” for Jazmine Sullivan.
Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott’s new single is called “WTF (Where They From)” and features Pharrell Williams.
Since Elliott’s more active time in the industry, electronic dance music has become widely popular. Multiple elements of this genre can be pointed out in the background of the song, for example, the continuous loop of “what?” and echoes of lyrics. Although “WTF” has a sound that Die Antwoord, a South African rap-rave group, claims in all of its music, there is something unique about the song itself.
The music video is also interesting. Created as a film setting in the beginning, the video features diverse groups of people around different areas of New York City as they are listening to Elliott’s song either through the speakers in a beauty salon, through earphones or a car radio.
“Initially, Missy wanted to do a whole video with puppets, but the event of Missy is a celebration of the unexpected,” said Dave Meyers, director of “WTF,” in an interview with The Creators Project. Meyers and Elliott have a long working relationship together, having successfully made videos for “Work It,” “Lose Control” and “We Run This.”
The music video was shot in two days. It’s similar to a celebratory dance procession. Speaking of puppets, as if *NSYNC didn’t already claim that idea, Elliott has brought it back. When Pharrell
Williams is introduced into the song, both he and Elliott are, well, puppets.
The six puppets in the video are the creations of Mountain-View based Furry Puppet Studios where the work was led by designer Zack Buchman. The five-member team sculpted the figures over the course of three months to the exact likeness of Elliott, Pharrell and the backup dancers. Each puppet was made from scratch. The ensembles were made by a stylist and then handmade by the puppet team.
“We made traditional marionettes who move by the pulling of stings. There were no special effects or computers in the puppets,” said Buchman in the interview with The Creators Project.
“This music video and song are definitely interesting,” said Chad Moran, a junior finance major. “It’s not exactly the kind of song for a younger audience.”
For example, the lyrics, “The dance you doing is dumb/how they do where you from. Stickin’ out your tongue girl/but you know you’re too young,” would be the best candidate for that hypothesis.