Audio + Video: Missy Elliott Goes Back To The Future On 'WTF (Where They From)'

I hate to say that women's hip-hop has been in a bit of a dry spell. This doesn't include the indie floacists out there who are holding it down, but when the "picks" of female rap litter involve choices between a tone-deaf igloo, a former Barbie bobblehead butt (implant) worshiper, and a trolling Twitter beefer, we are really rolling in the deep desert when it comes to engaging, femme-powered rappers.

Thank gawd for Missy Elliott who returns to bless us with a brand-new single that has her back to her ol' party-starting shenanigans again. Infused with rhythm and attitude, "WTF (Where The From)" has Missy whipping out her signature, frisky-meets-foulmouthed word play that crackles atop a quaking bass-lined rhythm. It's no "Work It" or "Gossip Folks", but it does werk its little heart out.

Missy is the life of the party on the track's krazy kinetic visual, adding more wacky and endearingly weird guises to her cache of personalities as she dons pop art make-up, blinged-out jumpsuits, and even bopping in on strings as a baseball-capped marionette. The track's producer, Pharrell Williams, also shows up with strings on him, laying down a palpable lyric that nicely seeps into the frenzied fabric.

Her penchant for fun balms her slick one-liners, but a few of them sneak in, sizzling hot, my favorites being her brag on being "thick like bisque" and how she's so far ahead of everyone she's on "top of the stars". Though she's not singling out anybody on the latter, Missy is jabbing all in good competitive fun, reclaiming her place as one of hip-hop's greatest innovators, a fact that didn't become painfully obvious until she dipped out of the spotlight for awhile, putting ten years between now and her last album, 2005's The Cookbook.

As of now, the prospect of a new creative venture for Missy Elliott seems more at reach, and with this banger lighting up the way it is, we better keep watch on where she's coming from as 2016 is looking more and more to be the Year of Miss E...being so addictive as she always has been.
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