• Thesis

The Drop: Missy Elliott, I'm Better

Updated: Nov 8, 2018

While most of us slept, Missy Elliott dropped a new single and visual while teasing the forthcoming release of a documentary that will offer insight into her creative process and, hopefully, coincide with her return.

Nearly a dozen years have passed since the last time Missy Elliott put out an album, but in the last couple of years, Elliott has come back with a few singles that are just enough to make us remember why she's so vital and why we miss her deeply. The wait for the comeback of hip-hop's most innovative, eccentric voice has been frustrating — to say the least — but the wait appears to be ending.

When Missy Elliott tells you, "I'm better," you sit down and listen. Or you go through several costume changes on an Afro-futuristic dancefloor and in a disco swimming pool, as seen in the video. In true Elliott fashion, the visual is an eye-popping dive into the mind of the groundbreaking performer.

Part of Elliott's absence was due to a battle with Graves' disease, an autoimmune illness that affects the thyroid, and she opened up about her break in an interview with The Times in 2011.

"Well, I had gotten sick, that was one thing. A lot of people don't know that before the artist, I wanted to be a writer and producer. That's always been a love of mine. It's easy for me to do it on myself, but it's fun to create for someone else," she said. "I got caught up in doing records for other artists. I just stayed behind the scenes, and time just kind of passed. And then I had to deal with an illness that took up some time. Now it's time to concentrate on Missy." And in 2015, her comeback finally began to feel real when she popped up at the Super Bowl and pretty much stole the halftime show from headliner Katy Perry with a medley of her biggest, era-defining hits. Months after that victory, she released the bonkers "WTF (Where They From)" and quickly followed with "Pep Rally" — but still, no album.

The documentary reveals more about the reasoning behind her lengthy creative process. "It's never just a record for me," Elliott says in the documentary trailer. "It's never just making a hot record. I can do that in my sleep. But visually I have to see what I'm going to do with that record when I perform it." Watch the video for "I'm Better" here.

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