It’s apparent just from the first few seconds of Missy Elliott’s WTF (Where They From), the celebrated rapper’s first new videos in years, that Missy hasn’t lost her signature style. After an intro featuring different New Yorkers singing the new cut while going about their lives, the now 44-year-old MC comes out rapping and dancing in full force with guest star Pharrell Williams.
“The dance you doing is dumb,” begins Missy Elliott. “How they do where you from.” It’s a classic Missy Elliott song, in line with 2001’s Get Ur Freak On, 2002’s Work It, and 2005’s Lose Control. Add the fact that we get to see the singer/songwriter with Pharrell in marionette form midway through the song and, well, we honestly couldn’t hope for much more.
The video release comes months after Missy Elliott made a public appearance during Katy Perry’s February 2015 Super Bowl performance. At the time, The Wall Street Journal noted that the guest performance boosted her Spotify plays by 676 percent (measured from the hour before the Super Bowl to their peak between 11 p.m. and midnight).
WTF is Elliott’s first new single since 2012 when she released 9th Inning and Triple Threat with longtime collaborator Timbaland. She has appeared on others’ tracks, notably guesting on Janet Jackson’s 2015 single BURNITUP! and remixing Jack Ü (Skrillex and Diplo)’s Take Ü There. Her last record, 2005’s The Cookbook, did well: a Grammy nominee, it sold 645,000 copies and received favorable reviews.
While it’s unclear when Missy Elliott’s next record coming, it is on its way. Likely speaking about WTF, last year Timbaland told Rolling Stone that the first single is “the hollow-tip bullet in the gun. We have the game-changer right there.”