It’s true, Missy Elliott “ain’t quite finished yet.” Last night, she and her other-half, Timbaland, swung by Hot 97 to talk comeback and to debut the first two tracks off of her upcoming album, tentatively titled Block Party. The first we’ve heard from these two in years, and out of the gate they come charging with “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat,” boasting about their “real rap, real bars” and just about everything else, too.
It’s been about four years since we’ve heard from Missy, and this pair of singles finds her back in fine form and extra-confident for her veteran status. “Every time I spit a rhyme it’s a sick flow, you newcomers better take note,” she raps over a gloriously bold brass and bass “9th Inning” beat. The song, according to Missy, is a critique of the music industry at present. “The music game is in a bad state, so we’re in the 9th inning like World War 2 and we have to come in and try to salvage what’s left of it,” Timbaland says. Missy and Timb spent their prime disrupting radio waves with their gloriously bizarre style, making space for innovation and experimentation in rap. And it certainly sounds on these two song like they are back and ready to pick up where they left off as, like Timbaland chants on the hook, “hit maker, hit breaker/party shaker, innovator/ground breaker, soul created/we be the most anticipated.”
Coming later in Timbaland’s typically moon-gravely “9th Inning” verse is another interesting critique of the music industry. Noting the influence of hip hop in pop, and perhaps checking her “innovator” badge against his own, he makes an interesting offer to Lady Gaga: “I like Lady Gaga, why don’t you let a n**** to a whole album?/ Where you think that producer got his style from?/ Come fuck with a n**** what the outcome.” We, too, would be curious as to what that might sound like. Gaga, you’re move.