His new twisted steel and sex appeal body may make him look like the African American version of deceased wrestling Adonis "Ravishing" Rick Rude, but LL Cool J isn't the only MC with a new frame that has everybody talking.
As if the bees, the fake Prince and dancing kids in her video for "Work It" aren't enough to visually devour, Missy Elliott's new slimmed-down physique has been popping out to people's peepers since the Dave Meyers-directed clip debuted last week.
"I still eat bad, trust me," the versatile mic controller said recently in New York. "It's definitely a battle. That bread puts 100 pounds on you. You have to get on that treadmill for 20 days to get that bread off. I suffer from high blood pressure, and I take medicine for it, but the doctor said, 'Hey, you gotta drop some weight.'
"In dropping weight, you say, 'Hey, this might not be so bad,' " she added. "You see your face start shrinking, and them jeans you ain't wore since kindergarten, you can get in now. Not only did I feel better health wise, but I felt better about myself."
Missy said she felt better about spending bucks on the "Work It" video while building ideas with Meyers.
"I try to keep my videos as unique as possible," she said of her mind-boggling mini movies. "I know that when I'm in the studio rhyming, I'm visually thinking about it and thatís what I want people to see. This video, I went to Dave and said, 'Hey, I want to keep it cheap.' It didn't end up that way, but I tried."
As with some of her other tunes, Missy doesn't mind people devising their own interpretations of what she says in "Work It."
"I like to do records that I could format it [so that it could mean anything] you want to think," she explained with a sly smile. "Like 'Get Ur Freak On' was you wanna get your freak on in the club, or you take it to your house in your bedroom, however you want to do it. 'Work It' could [mean] you working it on your regular job. You working out in the gym. Or you working it out in your bedroom. I always like to give those subliminal titles and everything.
"The first single's success is amazing," she said of the initial offering from her next album, Under Construction, due November 12. "For me it was scary because 'Get Ur Freak On' was such a big record from the last album that you go through that stage of 'What am I going to do next?' or 'If I donít give them another "Freak On," are they gonna like it or say that it's wack?' I went through a lot of stuff like that. But when I heard the way it was going ... As soon as they sent it to radio, and they played it, they got instant calls. Right now, 'Work It' is double times bigger than 'Get Ur Freak On.' "
For Under Construction ("Under Construction, it simply states that I'm a work in progress as far as myself," she clarified. "Working on things I feel that I could be better. Whether it's music, lyrics, mental, personality ..."), Elliott called on such big-name compadres as Jay-Z, Ludacris, Beyoncé Knowles, Method Man, TLC and friend of 14 years and her album's producer, Timbaland (see "T-Boz, Chilli Pay Tribute To Left Eye On Missy Elliott LP").
"This album was hard when we first started," she remembered. "It only took us a month to do the album, but when we first started, [Timbaland] wasn't feeling [recording in] Miami. He couldnít get a vibe. It was raining and he was like, 'I can't feel it.' I was like 'Oh God, not now.' After a while, he might have visited one of the strip clubs and after that he was straight. He started coming with beats, I was like, 'Hey, I got too many for my album. Chill!' "