In case you missed Missy Elliot’s comeback announcement in the form of her new music video, “WTF (Where They From),” the 44-year-old hip-hop legend is back to remind you of it in the November 28 issue of Billboard magazine. In it she dishes on her health struggles, Nicki Minaj, and the pressure she feels take her comeback to the level after the next level – she’s always been ahead of time.
Peep highlights from the interview below.
On taking her time to release new music, Missy says, “I have to be very careful,” she says. “It’s different now. People are quick to be like, ‘You’re irrelevant, you’re a flop, you’re washed up.’
Which is why Elliot says the only two producers she works with are, Pharrell and Timbaland, “the only two producers that understand me.”
Missy may have taken a backseat to her own career for a while, but she remained in the studio writing and producing for other artists, and she admits that even that took toll on her health.
“People hadn’t realized that I haven’t just been an artist, I’ve been a writer and a producer for other artists. When you’re writing that much, your brain is like a computer. You have refresh it.”
Missy also believes her workload agitated her Graves disease.
“It causes hair loss, your eyes bulge,” she says. “My blood pressure was always up from just overworking.”
“It started to change her way of life,” Missy’s protegé, Sharaya, says. “There were physical changes, extreme headaches, extreme weight loss. What that does to a person, being a public figure and knowing people are looking, judging? That’s a tough thing.”
When asked her opinion about Nicki Minaj, who is clearly influenced by Elliott, she says , “Unfortunately, breaking news, there is only one Missy.” Still, she would love to see more female MCs on the charts, reflecting on what the music scene was like when she was coming up.
“It was me, [Lil’] Kim, Lauryn [Hill], Eve, Foxy [Brown], Trina,” she says. “There’s room for so many. It’s important.”
Surprisingly, Missy confessed that she’s so shy, her longtime friend and collaborator Timbaland, has yet to see her record a single track in the studio.
“I never record in front of anybody,” she says. “[Even] Tim has never seen me record a day in his life. It’s just me and my little Yorkies, Poncho and Hoodie.”
You can read Missy’s full interview with Billboard here.