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Missy Elliott Shares First Songs in Four Years, Talks New Album

Missy Elliott / Photo by Getty Images

Missy Elliott has unveiled her first new songs in four years, and by her own account she isn’t finished yet. After a false alarm over Labor Day weekend, Missy and longtime producer Timbaland took to Ustream early this evening to take questions and premiere new tracks “Triple Threat” and “9th Inning.” The two tracks will be available on iTunes at midnight, but Missy and Tim also offered some details on the rapper’s long-delayed new album.

Although it’s too early to gauge how the new Missy songs will go down, they pull off the neat feat of neither sounding especially trendy nor like the work of artists notably past their prime. “Triple Threat,” billed as the more club-oriented of the two tracks, is intricate and aggressive, with Timbaland’s snarled gonna-make-you-sweat hooks atop billowing synths and symphonic flourishes that expand on his signature brand on hip-hop futurism without coming across as a rehash. The more urgent-sounding “9th Inning” features flickering piano and braying horns. On both tracks, Missy still raps with her familiar ferocity, and while we might hope for a bit more than some of the more obvious we’re-back I’m-the-best boasts, both she and Tim have their memorable/head-scratching lines (“Me and Timbaland the new Ike and Tina”? Okay then).

As for the album, there’s no release date yet, but Timbaland estimated the two have about 12 songs. As for a title, they’re wavering between Class Dismissed and Block Party. Magoo will be on a track, as will Eve and Trina, according to the Ustream interview. “The direction of the album? ? I like to call it theatrical hip-hop,” Missy said. “It’s not [1999 sophomore album] Da Real World all over again, but the dramatics of Da Real World is a feeling I get from it.”

Missy also weighed in, with utmost tact, on the ongoing debate a possible new posthumous album by Aaliyah. ” “I’m worn out from it,” Missy said. “If y’all can respect this … We decided maybe lets not talk about it so much, because Aaliyah was never about controversy. … We want to leave positive energy around her name.”

You can hear both new tracks in the video below, but Missy encourages fans, of course, to buy the real version. “We basically coming to switch music again,” she said. “People are wondering what took us so long? We had to refresh our brains, come correct or don’t come at all. We had to give 110 percent and not just 50.”