Missy Elliott has always had an aptitude for appearing when least expected. After ten years since releasing an album and three years since putting out a new single, Missy Elliott surprised and delighted fans during a previously unannounced performance at the most recent Super Bowl Halftime Show. With little indication of dropping a new song and video, in the midst of a busy week of news, Missy Elliott put out “WTF (Where They From),” which features an appearance from Pharrell during the second verse.
The video opens with scenes of listeners singing along to “WTF,” perhaps indicating that the rapper is as relevant than ever. Perfectly on par with current music, featuring the infamous rap air horn and an innovative style with quick-witted lyrics, Missy Elliott isn’t afraid to display the same kind of creativity and modernization with the video for “WTF.” Everything about the video is over the top. From Missy Elliott’s suit of mirrors and glitter to the scene of dancing marionettes of the rapper and Pharrell to the simultaneously effortless and complex choreography, the video is a visual masterpiece.
In a sense, this isn’t surprising for Missy Elliott. Made up words, blue lipstick and a large pack of background dancers don’t seem too unusual for the rapper. At the same time, the music industry hadn’t really seen anything like this for a while. The art of the visual music video seems to have disappeared a little. It’s no surprise that Elliott’s somewhat unanticipated reemergence looks the way it does. It appears that no one else besides the rapper could have made such a production. Representing a fascinating contribution to the hip-hop and pop world, “WTF” is simultaneously mind-blowing and unsurprising.