Obviously Missy Elliott is far from that heavyset wildcat who rapped in a black plastic bag in her first video for “The Rain” way back in 1997. Really, does anybody call her “Misdemeanor” anymore? And that plastic bag was probably retired the second video director Hype Williams yelled, “That’s a wrap!” on the set.
Just as she has come out of that hideous shiny covering, the 30-something Virginia native has come out of her shell (if you can actually call somebody who’s slithered across the screen — and the floor — in a robot outfit, as being in a shell). But these days she’s totally uninhibited.
On her November 25 release, This Is Not a Test, the much trimmer Missy continues her evolution — she now seems completely comfortable talking about all aspects of sex.
On the album she tells her lover what he’s doing wrong in bed, lets him know when the loving’s good, and let’s just say that when she’s alone, she doesn’t shop for things to play with at Geoffrey the Giraffe’s favorite store.
If you thought Missy was being forward when she sang the lines “Pu— don’t fail me now” on her last album, wait until you hear “Toyz.”
“I’mma grab me a toy boo, why you buggin’?” Missy, insisting that “every girl must have a toy,” innocently asks her boyfriend. Want to know the reason why he’s bugging? It’s because every time Missy clicks her gadget’s “on” button, it means he’s coming one step closer to seeing the front door for good.
“I wish that you would love,” laments the rap femme fatale over the record’s electric-funk track. “Until I discovered something better … I don’t need nobody to help me please me.”
On the slow, ballad-like “Dat’s What I’m Talkin About,” which features R. Kelly, Missy turns her machine off long enough to get some thug lovin’ from the Pied Piper of R&B (see “Jay-Z, R. Kelly, Busta Record With Missy For Her New LP” ).
“Have you ever been in front of a virgin?” she croons. “It gets so hot and curious.” Later, she has bedroom eyes and a mouth that sounds like it was cultivated in the Dogg house.
“Fo shizzle my nizzle, you the dizzle/ You feel me sizzle,” she continues.
From sizzling in bed to getting simmering mad — that’s the plight of Miss E. on “Is This Our Last Time.” The beat sounds like a throwback from the disco era, and that’s exactly what Elliott wants to do in her relationship: take it back to a different time. She wants to go back to the days when the love was so good it made her “cry.” On the record she bluntly asks her lover, “Why don’t you f— me like before?” Meanwhile, the track’s guest, Fabolous, chips in with a rap about love going downhill from the man’s perspective.
As is obvious from her first single, “Pass That Dutch” (see “Missy Aiming To Infect The World With Her New ‘Dutch’ Virus” ), just because Missy’s taking fans to a place she’s never gone before doesn’t mean she’s forgotten where her bread is buttered. Friend and frequent collaborator Timbaland produced most of the album, introducing a plethora of party jams like “Pump It Up” with Nelly, and “Let Me Fix My Weave,” where she raps about having to fix her hair weave before hitting the club. She also has a song called “Don’t Be Cruel” with Monica and Beenie Man.
Jay-Z is also present on the album, via “Wake Up.” Hova, who “kicks game like David Beckham” on the track, joins Missy in extending her album’s theme, indicating that it’s “all right” for people not to worship material possessions and excess.
Missy has been known to spare no expense when it comes to making her legendary music videos. She shot the video for “Pass That Dutch” on October 10, 11 and 12 with Dave Meyers in L.A. Elliott is being super-secret about what she has in store this time around, but her spokesperson did disclose a not-so-surprising tidbit about the clip: The rapstress logged in a lot of camera time performing in front of blue screen, which is used primarily for recording special effects.