This Is Why Your Girlfriend Freaked Out When Missy Elliott Hit The Stage
My ears perked up as soon as I heard the opening notes to “Get Your Freak On” on Sunday night. It couldn’t be — could it?
But then, one by one, the Super Bowl party girlfriend couch snapped to attention. Then my phone blew up with increasingly excited emojis (perhaps there were no words, perhaps we’re all borderline illiterate at this point). This was happening — Missy Elliott was joining Katy Perry for the halftime show.
It’s not that Katy wasn’t great. She was beyond great, from her animatronic tiger entrance to her frighteningly catchy — possibly illegally so — medley of hits. I’m in the minority here, but I find her dancing to be fairly adorable.
But Missy Elliott?
It’s been more than a decade since we’ve seen much from her, and yet no one has quite replaced the 43-year-old rapper. Not in the 13 years since Under Construction topped the charts has any woman had this much fun being this much of an unapologetic bad-ass on her own terms. (We’ll pause for a hat tip to Sweet Dee of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, one of the few female characters on television who is allowed to smoke crack, sell her womb and wear a back brace while still earning some of the show’s best lines.)
So, why is Missy still such big deal, still such a novelty, in 2015? We’ll let the lyrics to “Work It” speak for themselves
“If you got a big [Collective, “Wait, can she say this on TV”? She can’t] let me search it
And find out how hard I gotta work ya”
This was the definitive “We’re not in Kansas anymore” moment on Sunday, and it was awesome. The only thing that could have made it better? If Katy’s backup shark dancers got in on the act.
“Not on the bed, lay me on your sofa
Phone before you come, I need to shave my chacha
You do or you don’t or you will or won’t ya
Go downtown and eat it like a vulture”
I attended Catholic school for entirely too many years to read this verse, let alone talk about it. I assume Katy is with me, considering she can’t sing “so hot we’ll melt your popsicle” without blushing. But it needed to be said, and Missy Elliott said it because she is Missy Elliott: Call first, and none of this “won’t ya” business.
“See my hips and my tips, don’t ya
See my ass and my lips, don’t ya
Lost a few pounds and my whips for ya
This the kinda beat that go ra-ta-ta”
It’s become trendy to embrace your curves. But Beyonce bares a seriously ripped midriff in the “Bootylcious” video, while Meghan Trainor coos about having “all the right junk in all the right places” while wiggling through “All About That Bass” in a costume that’s somewhere between June Cleaver and a Powerpuff Girl. As for Missy? Barely bothers to take off her sweatsuit during the “Work It” video, then simultaneously brags about her ass and her diet during sex without missing a beat. That’s some next-level confidence right there.
“Girls, girls, get that cash
If it’s 9 to 5 or shakin’ your ass
Ain’t no shame, ladies do your thang
Just make sure you ahead of the game”
On it. Except for the ass part. The cash might be a problem, too. How much shame is permitted under no shame? Missy, come back — we need you.
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