Aside from the giant, red-eyed animatronic tiger thing Katy Perry rode in on that will surely haunt my nightmares for weeks, the most memorable thing about the Super Bowl halftime show was Missy Elliott, a hip hop artist most familiar to those of us who came of age in the 1990s, looking bad-ass in a black jumpsuit and cap, slinking her way through her hits, “Lose Control,” “Work It” and “Get Ur Freak On.”
Sparkle and gaudiness are nothing new to pop music. But no technological gags can replace refined talent coupled with spotlessly executed choreography and that intangible, raw ingredient that the best performance artists, like Missy, possess. Elliott didn’t just look like she was born to be on stage. She looked like she was genuinely having fun, and making it look good.
Since Missy’s Super Bowl performance, her album sales have jumped an astounding 2,500%. The day after the Super Bowl, Missy tweeted, “the new kids think I’m a new artist and I’m bout 2 blow up like Paul McCartney,” which just goes to show if something’s good, it’s timeless. Her music may have debuted years ago, but it is definitely not dated. So like legions of others who are either discovering or rediscovering Missy’s music, I’ve been not only listening but watching her extremely stylized, artful and visionary music videos.
Missy also tweeted, “all my videos when y’all get free time they r like a mini movies! I promise u gonna dance even if u got no rhythm handsup!” Okay, I am definitely watching her videos and white girl jerking over here, I totally admit it. Now that I’m older, I have more appreciation for the artistry behind her work. Props to Katy Perry for having the good taste and foresight to insist on Missy’s performance during her halftime show. I totally forgive Katy for freaking me out with the giant robot tiger beast.
(Featured photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)