Missy Elliott Talks Musical Comeback, “WTF” Video Puppets & Modern Artists


(AllHipHop News) It has been 10 years since Missy Elliott released her last studio album The Cookbook. The rapper/singer/producer returned in a big way with the Pharrell-produced single “WTF (Where They From).” The video for the track has already collected over 12 million views on YouTube in just four days.

Missy connected with i-D for an exclusive interview. The hit maker that crafted records with Aaliyah, Timbaland, Lil Kim, Puff Daddy, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, and many others talked about the pressure of making a comeback after a decade-long hiatus, the scene-stealing puppets in her “WTF” video, and the state of the music industry in 2015.

[ALSO READ: Pharrell Talks About Trayvon Martin Reference in Missy Elliot’s “WTF”]

On the pressure of making a comeback:

Oh the pressure was definitely more! When me and Tim put out those records [9th Inning andTriple Threat], you know, we just put them out, that’s why we never put a video out. But this time the pressure was really on because I knew I had shot a video so now it wasn’t just about, “Are they gonna like the record”. I knew that people know me for my videos and so the expectation from those who grew up on my music was high. My goodness. I swear to God, I felt like I sweated out my tracks the night before the video dropped! My weave was messed up waiting for this video to come out!

On the “WTF” video:

Once [Pharrell and I] did the record, I knew it was time to shoot a video. The puppet idea I had seen somebody do on the street. I held onto that idea for five years because I didn’t have a record that matched that idea. So I showed Pharrell the clip I had, and he said ‘You know you got to do a video for this’. Believe it or not, we have been making this video since March. The puppets themselves took two and a half, to three months to make. It was very detailed. We had people from StarTrak working on this video, so it was a lot.

On modern music:

I think the music industry, it’s a lot of great artists out there. Adele, she’s most definitely killing the right now. I understand someone like a Rihanna. She’s a superstar, I get it. Beyoncé, well she’s from our era, and she’s beyond that! What I love about Kanye is that he doesn’t fit the mold either. He does what he feels. People might look at him like, “Kanye at it again”, but I can respect the fact and I can tell when he does his music it’s not “I’m doing what’s hot right now”. That’s what I felt in the studio. So I can appreciate artists like that. People, I think they are fiending for more of that, that’s why Adele could take that rest and come back. That’s how it used to be. She’s shown people that when you’ve got talent, those solid fans will wait for you. So, yeah, it’s a lot of great stuff out there.

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Watch Missy Elliott’s “WTF” video featuring Pharrell Williams below.