Missy Elliott has teamed with TLC's Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas to record a tribute to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and other R&B and hip-hop stars who have passed away in recent months.
The song, "Can You Hear Me," closes out Elliott's forthcoming Under Construction, due November 12.
"[It's a] very personal record," Elliott said. "It was hard, very hard. I cried when I wrote it and cried when I sung it."
Miss E produced the track herself, along with three others on the record. The rest of the album, the rapper's fourth, was produced by Timbaland with Elliott co-producing.
Guests on the follow-up to 2001's Miss E ... So Addictive include Jay-Z, Ludacris, Destiny's Child singer Beyoncé Knowles, Method Man and Ms. Jade.
Elliott said she's a big fan of each of the collaborators on her album. "Ludacris is hot, and he's just true Southern hospitality. There's just something about him that when you see him, ... you think about chicken, macaroni and cheese, and all that," Elliott said. "Beyoncé is a true, true, true talent, and the last time I worked with someone with that talent and that works fast like that is Aaliyah. Her voice has always been amazing, and she's a good person."
Elliott protégé Tweet provides additional vocals on three cuts — "Can You Hear Me," "P***ycat" and "Nothing Out There for Me."
Under Construction also features "Work It," which is #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
"I like to do records that I could format it in any way you want to think, like 'Get Ur Freak On,' " Elliott said of the song. " 'Get Ur Freak On' was just like, either you wanna get your freak on in a club or you take it to your house in your bedroom. It's however you wanna do it. 'Work It' could be you workin' on your regular job, you workin' out at the gym or your workin' it out in your bedroom. I always like to give those subliminal titles and different things. It's just a fun record."
T-Boz and Chilli also worked with Elliott on TLC's 3D, also due November 12 (see "TLC Album Preview: 3D Tributes Left Eye With Sass, Spunk, Silence"). Left Eye was killed in April (see "Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes Killed In Car Accident").
While Elliott is rumored to be putting together a package tour to promote Under Construction, she has committed to at least one date, at Seattle's Experience Music Project on November 7 for an AIDS benefit (see "Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Set For World AIDS Day Concerts").
Under Construction track list, according to Elektra Records:
- "Go to the Floor"
- "Bring the Pain" f/ Method Man
- "Gossip Folks" f/ Ludacris
- "Work It"
- "Back in the Day" f/ Jay-Z
- "Funky Fresh Dressed" f/ Ms. Jade
- "Nothing Out There for Me" f/ Beyoncé Knowles
- "Play That Beat"
- "Ain't That Funny"
- "Swing Your Partner"
- "Can You Hear Me" f/ TLC
For complete coverage on the Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes tragedy, see Remembering Left Eye: The Lisa Lopes Reports.