There are many reasons why I’m still obsessed with ‘Under Construction,’ the groundbreaking fourth studio set from the one-and-only, Missy Elliot. For one, it contains classic Misdemeanor joints, “Work It”, “Gossip Folks,” “Back in the Day,” and my personal funkdafied finger-lickin’ favorite, “Pussycat.” Another reason that I’ll live for ‘Construction’ until all eternity is because the music laced throughout it still sounds effortless, timeless and represents a time when music artists could just be THEMSELVES and not a product of twenty, thirty people who put the pieces together on a daily basis. (I mean, really, Ariana Grande has someone who CARRIES her around if she gets tired…wtf?) However, if there’s one true reason that I’m still putting my thing down, flippin’ it and reversin’ it to Missy’s prismatic set is simply because of its title, ‘Under Construction.’ I find it so incredible that although she was five years in the game when this set bulldozed its way into our lives, she still gave us an album title that not only represented a standout set, but also represented how Missy was continuing to build and create masterpieces, forever reconstructing the music game. What it all comes down to is this, we’re all so happy that Missy “ba-donk-adonked” her way back into our lives this past weekend during the Super Bowl halftime show, because let’s face it, she is a true game-changing music icon. With that being said, let’s throw on our Adidas tracksuits, lace up those British Knights,shine up our gold chains and get our Missy ‘Under Construction’ throwback Thursday on.
Of course, WHENEVER one speaks about this irresistible Missy era, gi-normous lead single “Work It” is the first thing that always comes to music mind. This was the single back in the ’02 day, girl. With Missy on top letting all those music bottoms know that they could “Go downtown and eat it like a vulture,” while bestie Timbaland delivered a SICK beat laced with delicious samples,”Run-D.M.C.’s “Peter Piper,”Dynamic Three’s “Request Line” and Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” Here’s a little nugget for you guys, “Work It” is tied with Foreigner’s ’81 hit, “I Want to know What Love Is” for being Billboard’s longest running #2 single where it sat for ten weeks behind another little track called “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Meaning, god damn I wish it was 2002 again…
However, Missy’s signature spit is only a morsel of the many music treats cooked up on ‘Under Construction.’ The Biggie “Ten Crack Commandments” sampling “Bring the Pain,” co-starring Method Man, has that perfect opening track flavor. Of course, “Gossip Folks” is almost as irresistible as “Work It” with it’s exploding Timbo beat and saucy sample of “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith. Going down on the set, “Back in the Day,” “Funky Fresh Dressed,” “Play that Beat” and “Hot” are just pure ultimate throwback joints. TLC lends a hand on the Aaliyah/Left Eye tribute, “Can You Hear Me,” and a not-yet-quite-Queen-Bey pops up on the headboard bangin, Nothing Out There For Me. These days, I’m sure even ‘Beyonce’ still bows down to Missy…
At 3 million copies sold, ‘Under Construction’ is Missy’s best-selling set. As she proved with this throwback album and also past weekend, she just has IT. Make no mistake, there will never be an artist quite like Missy Elliot in our lifetime who has so had so many innovative music thoughts, hopes, creations and futuristic ideas. Let me put it this way, for every 900 Ariana Grande’s, there’s truly only one Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot. The world is ready for your next move, girl.
Before you do that, read this Buzzfeed article about THAT girl who danced in Missy’s ‘Construction’ videos. Don’t worry, she’s fine, kids.
“Bring the Pain”
“Back in the Day”