Missy Elliott back! Er, sort of. Late last week, J. Cole dropped his new video for his single, "Nobody's Perfect," featuring Missy, and—wouldn't you know—the Virginia-born rapper made several appearances throughout the course of the visual. And then, over the weekend, Timbaland performed at the VIBE House/AllHipHop.com Breeding Ground SXSW Showcase and debuted a brand-new Missy track for the crowd. So while we wouldn't necessarily say that Missy's "back" just yet, she's made more noise in the last few days than she has in the last few years combined.
And, what does that mean? Well, it means that the world is ready to see Missy make a true comeback. It's been almost seven years since she released her last proper solo album, The Cookbook (as a point of reference, we'd like to point out that Mike Jones made an appearance on that album), and, frankly, we're tired of sitting around and waiting for new Missy music to drop. So rather than allowing this moment that Missy's having to pass her by, we decided to come up with a list of the 5 reasons we want to see Missy Elliott make a comeback right now. Whatdda say, Missy? Can you still "Work It"?—Chris Yuscavage
REASON #1: Nicki Minaj has left us all hungry to hear more female MCs.
We already know what a lot of you out there are going to say here: "Don't you dare put Nicki in the same sentence as Missy!" But we're going to do it anyway, because whether you like Nicki or not, it's clear that she's had a huge impact on the number of female rappers that are getting shine right now. A few years ago, we were seriously wondering whether or not there would be another great female rapper again. Now, it's not even a question anymore. Nicki's done big things. Younger acts like Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea are on the come-up. And it's clear that female rappers are on the rise again. That makes it a perfect time for Missy to make a comeback.
REASON #2: Nicki Minaj could learn a few things from Missy about how to do crossover pop records without alienating hip-hop fans.
Now, you know we love us some Nicki Minaj. But, we will say this about her. Some of her big pop records—including her recent hit, "Starships"—have not been received very well by some hip-hop fans. They're "too" pop, they complain. Oddly, that was never really an issue for Missy. She made a lot of records that climbed to the top of the pop charts. But they never felt like blatant pop attempts. So, if she could manage to start doing that again, it'd push Nicki to do the same. Having some worthy competition is always important and that's something that Missy could provide for Nicki. We think it'd work out for the best for both of them.
REASON #3: The Missy verse that Timbo played during the Breeding Ground event sounded great.
Okay, so the recording that Timbo played is really hard to hear on the YouTube video that's floating around out there. But, guess what? From what we can hear, Missy still sounds like the same old Missy to us. She's been out of the game for awhile now, but she still sounds like she's got it. And the crowd at SXSW gave her a really good response and sounded genuinely happy to hear something new from her. So, why not give everyone even more new material to devour?
REASON #4: J. Cole has given Missy's career a second life.
The problem with taking more than a year or two off—or, in this case, six or seven years off—is that rap fans are very quick to forget you. You can have the biggest rap song ever, but if you don't follow it up with a smash within a year, you might as well just move to Florida and retire. That's one thing that's been going against Missy for the last few years now. She's got a laundry list of hit records tucked under her belt, but all the 13-year-olds out there who are just starting to listen to rap were in kindergarten when most of them were released. This J. Cole feature on "Nobody's Perfect" puts her back into the limelight, though, and makes her current again. So, why shouldn't she use that to her advantage?
REASON #5: Missy doesn't get anywhere near the amount of love and respect that she should get from hip-hop fans.
You could say this about most rappers who are over the age of 40. Jay-Z not included, they just don't get as much love as they probably should. But that's particularly true for Missy, who never really released a project that people considered her "last" album. She put out The Cookbook, followed it up with her greatest hits album, Respect M.E., and then sort of just disappeared for the most part. So when people hear her name get mentioned, they're more likely to think "What happened to her?" than "Wasn't she so great?" For that reason alone, Missy needs to make a comeback and put an exclamation point on the end of her career. She deserves it. And, you know what? We deserve it, too. See you soon, Missy.