What's Behind The Puppets In “WTF”? 7 Questions I Have About Missy Elliott’s New Music Video
Drop absolutely everything right now (unless you’re holding a baby; put the baby down gently in a safe pace): Missy Elliott has released a new video for the first time since 2008, and it is more than worth watching. “WTF (Where They From)” featuring Pharrell Williams, is everything you could hope for in a Missy video: super weird, catchy as hell, and impossible to look away from. But along with a bunch of futuristic-looking costumes, "WTF" also features puppet versions of Pharrell and Missy, dancing along to the beat — and it's just one of many things about the video that has enthralled the Internet.
Missy’s videos have never been average, but this one might be the most bonkers yet. It starts off pretty normal, with shots of different people in an unnamed city quietly singing the song to themselves on street corners, in cars, and in a nail salon. And then the dancing starts! Missy does her Missy dance in a track suit that looks like it’s made out of disco balls, and it is on. This video’s got everything: shapeshifting, marionettes, twerking, hoverboards, possible robots. It’s like a Stefan nightclub come to life!
However, I do have some questions. I'm not much for reading into the symbolism of videos, or anything else for that matter. To me, a cigar is always a cigar, unless you tell me otherwise. With that in mind, though, I'm hoping Missy can clear up a few things about the appropriately-named “WTF” video. Such as...
1. How Uncomfortable Was This Disco Ball Suit?
I love this outfit with all my heart, but I bet it weighs 20 pounds. Also, the lip glitter? I'm cringing and reaching for my Chapstick just thinking about it. Missy suffers for us, and we should be grateful.
2. Who's Your New Friend, Missy?
I'm kind of disappointed that Alyson Stoner isn't in the video. We know that she can still "Work It" (ugh, sorry, I had to).
3. Respectfully, Are You a Witch?
Or a wizard, or some other type of sorcerer? It's OK if you are. You can tell me, Missy. Because this vid possesses pure magic.
4. Are You And Pharrell OK?
...Because these marionettes look exactly like you two in a way that no human artist should have been able to capture, and I'm kind of worried that your souls are trapped inside them now.
Globalgrind tells me that it was Missy's idea to use the puppets, because Pharrell was unavailable to shoot it, but I can't figure out what spell was cast to render them.
5. What Exactly Is Happening Here?
Are you... eggs? Are you Christmas ornaments? Are you dance-bots in a dance-bot factory, whose "Pull tab to activate" tabs got accidentally pulled too early?
6. You Were Paid For This, Right?
I am not a fan of these things that people call hoverboards, even though they are clearly just Segways without handles. They seem slow and dangerous, and I refuse to believe that anyone actually rides them for fun. This is product placement, right, Missy?
7. Please Promise You Won't Make Us Wait Another Seven Years?
We missed you, Missy. You are a national treasure, and we can't go another seven years without you. Please drop another video soon.
Image: Atlantic Records/YouTube