After a nearly-decade long absence from charts as a leading act (and time filled with a number of “buzz” singles), ‘Hot Boyz’ hitmaker Missy Elliott kicked off 2015 by reminding any naysayers that she was hotter than ever. An undoubted highlight of Katy Perry‘s otherwise forgettable ‘Super Bowl’ Halftime Show (the most watched in history), Elliott’s energy, stage presence, and resume of hits not only resonated with the viewing audience, but only seemed to amplify cries for the multi-talented diva’s full-on return to music.
It would literally be 10 months before their prayers were answered via the Pharrell Williams-produced ‘WTF.’ Dripping every “Elliott-ism” fans had grown to know and love over her 20 year career (see: futuristic & bass driven beat, colorful rapping), the bumping bop proved itself well worth the wait. A welcomed departure from the dearth of quality rap ruling radio, by the time the tune’s out-of-this-world, Dave Meyers-directed video surfaced fans were sure the return to form would act as the much needed catalyst to put Missy back on top. Even the rapstress herself bragged in the song: ‘this another hit I got a(n) Ace in the hole.’
Unfortunately, Billboard charts wouldn’t exactly boast the same…
A slow burner, the song finally clawed its way to a #22 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 weeks after its debut. With little traditional promotion, barring a live performance on NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ it would take seven months before the tune was awarded a gold certification.
By this merit, it’s by no means a failure, but compared to her previous releases (and add to that a 10 year absence), there were undoubtedly higher expectations for its impact.
It seemed ‘WTF’s commercial performance left many-a-fan asking ‘WTF?’ and slamming Elliott’s label for not affording her long-awaited comeback its due promotional push. On the other hand, others argued the shift in musical landscape (over her lengthy absence) to more trap-friendly offerings was just not welcoming of her qualitative efforts.
You tell us:
Did Missy miss the momentum of the Super Bowl and wait too late to capitalize? Or, is her unorthodox style just too far left for today’s musical climate?