After joining Katy Perry on the halftime stage at the the 2015 Super Bowl and releasing her first music video in seven years last week, Missy Elliott has officially cemented her comeback. The rapper, who teamed with Pharrell Williams for her new single “WTF (Where They From),” revealed her hiatus was the result of mounting pressure from writing hits for herself and other artists.
“The one thing that a lot of people don’t know is that for as long as I’ve been as artist, I’ve been a writer and a producer. So I’ve had to write and produce for other artists and then maintain my sound and myself as an artist,” Missy says in an interview with VIBE magazine. “So all that time, I was doing Missy and also making sure I was giving all of these other artists a different sound too. That was hard for me.”
She continues, “At first it wasn’t but then when it started piling up on a plate, it was tough. A lot of people don’t do this. You can count on a couple of hands probably how many artists also produce and write, both for themselves and for others and are able to be successful at both things. So I needed a break.”
Although Missy says she “never stopped recording” over the years, she did begin to second-guess herself. “It was a time where I felt like ‘Do I still have it’? Especially when you see a whole new slew, a whole new generation of kids, come through and the music is not like how it was,” she says. “I felt like, ‘How do I fit in’? I’m battling. But then I never fit in! The whole time, I’ve never fit in! But it was still that battle.”
Missy thanks Pharrell for inspiring her to re-surface with new material. “After the Super Bowl, [Pharrell] hit me up like, ‘Yo, what are you doing?’ I was basically in the house cleaning! I had gone back to my normal life. I was in the house vacuuming, walking my dogs — after the Super Bowl, I’m just acting normal,” she recalls. “He said, ‘I’m not trying to push you, but people miss you. Do you see what happened out there? Have you seen the charts’? I think I was still in shock. It still hadn’t registered.”
Missy has been in the studio with Timbaland working on her first album since 2005’s The Cookbook.
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