[artist id="1043"]Missy Elliott[/artist] spent the better part of the late '90s and early 2000s concocting elaborate and often nutty visuals, rocking absolute craziness in those visuals, spitting slick rhymes and cooing breathy vocals. Oh, and she created some of R&B and hip-hop's most memorable hits, from her woozy, bass-heavy 1997 debut track, "The Rain," to the wobbly sass of 2002's "Work It." Factor in chart-topping collabos with everyone from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, and Missy became a one-stop shop for hits.
However, in recent years the inventive MC has retreated from the spotlight, laying low since her jangly 2008 club anthem "Ching-A-Ling." When MTV News recently caught up with the multi-hyphenate star, she said her days in the limelight were numbered and she's turned her focus to nurturing other artists.
"People always be like, 'Where [you] been?' but you gotta remember, I got Jazmine Sullivan out there, I had Monica 'Everything [To Me']," Missy explained on the red carpet for Tao New York's 10th Anniversary Party carpet last week. "I'm always having artists that I'm doing records on so I'm just behind the scenes right now. I did the artist thing, now I'm just writing and producing."
Elliott has been tending to Sullivan, who the MC worked with for years, including producing her 2008 reggae-tinged debut single, "Need U Bad." Elliott said that the Philadelphia songstress is a "beast" and predicts a lengthy career ahead for Sullivan.
"It's been a long time coming but she gon' be around for a long time. She's gon' make people have to step up they singing," Missy beamed. "Jazmine sing from the soul. She sing from a different place. She's not just a singer, she sings from a place where you feel like she been through those things before. And she got a husky voice and we haven't heard that really in R&B in a long time so she [has] a unique voice."
But she's not giving up everything to her protégés. Elliott revealed that although she's primarily staying behind the boards, she plans to drop a "club record" called "Blow Your Whistle," to which she promises fans "gon' be dancing." However, any proper Missy Elliott track needs to be accompanied by an out-of-control visual. Elliott assured fans that her forthcoming single, which will drop "in a minute," won't be any different.
"I gotta figure out this video thing and then we gon' drop it. It's gotta be a whole thing, it's a puzzle for me. It's not just the record, it's about the video too," Elliott said.
She's still tinkering with the concept but she did promise a clip that, for the woman who has donned garbage bags, rhymed in cornfields and swung from chandeliers in her videos, will be quintessentially Missy.
"Something crazy," Elliott smiled. "I'm taking my foot off this time. I don't know. Something crazy though."
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