Has Missy Elliott gone off the deep end?
It’s likely that the next time you see her, she’ll be inside a padded cell, wearing a straitjacket. The singer went crazy for her next video, “Teary Eyed,” and unlike most of her special-effects-laden oeuvre, it was done straight-up as a dramatic piece.
“I’m doing acting, and it’s crazy,” she said. “It’s like a movie, and it’s got a twist to it — I love the twist at the end.”
Without giving too much away, then, the video (shot on Friday in Los Angeles with director Antti J. Jokinen) features Elliott responding to a relationship gone very wrong. We don’t know too much about the couple at first: we see them sporadically, and most of what we do see is the aftermath. We see him in a hospital emergency ward, and we see Missy in a psych ward, but it’s not clear at first how they got there or why. We get clues through her lyrics: “You’re the reason I don’t trust no one … I don’t love no one/ From the places I’ve come/ Sad songs I’ve sung/ All the times I was stung/ Boy, you bring out the worst in me.”
Intercut in all this is a sudden car crash at a remote, rainy intersection: The car spins, twists over the curb, narrowly missing a streetlight, and then comes to a stop against the corner of a building, with broken glass and debris covering the ground. It then bursts into flames.
Missy is then escorted by two police officers through booking and fingerprinted. The ambulance arrives at the ER, where the guy is pulled from the ambulance on a stretcher and is wheeled through the front doors. In his hospital room, the EKG monitor flat-lines, but then comes back — his pulse is weak. Somehow, Missy’s also there, looking down at him and singing that she’s teary-eyed, that “I was going to marry you/ Have kids with you/ Stay true to you/ Live life with you.”
But then we get hints that perhaps it’s better that those plans didn’t work out. A montage of their relationship’s past dissolves in, which starts with happier times but quickly becomes a string of arguments and torment.
In the hospital room, Missy stares at the EKG, then locks the door of the room and closes the curtain. In the psych ward, Missy gets a shot with a loaded syringe, and she starts to hallucinate — and in that drugged-out dream, she’s backed by a group of four dancers, each one restrained by a straitjacket, from which they free themselves by writhing.
Is the rest of the video her hallucination? We revisit the car crash, but this time, we have another point of view that tells us who was in the car, why it crashed, why and how the guy dies in his hospital room, and why Missy is in the psych ward at the end of it all.
“I’m kind of speaking for the females,” Elliott said, “what’s in our mind if we could get revenge, what it would be like. Not to say that we would do it — because we would be locked up if you go by my video version of it — but just in our minds, if we could have our way with a relationship gone bad. So it’s crazy.”
A sneak peek at Missy Elliott’s video for “Teary Eyed” will be shown during MTV News’ “Pre-Show by the Shore” live on Sunday, August 28, at 6 p.m. ET/PT.