Missy be the name, and ya’ll should already know — FYF Fest 2017

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me this year has been full of surprises.

1. Donald Trump is actually the President of the United States.
2. Kweku Collins came out of nowhere this year and released an album that has become the first album to knock Kendrick’s ‘DAMN’ out of my “constant-loop-never-turning-it-off” playlist.
3. Missy – Muthafkn – Elliot is headlining this year’s FYF Fest.

As you can see, surprises come in all forms. While the above surprises may exist on polar opposite ends of the spectrum, they definitely illustrate my point. Let’s focus on one, for now.

Missy has been all but absent from the charts for the last ten years. Though she reared her head out every so often to feature on someone’s song, or even released a few bits and pieces of her own, the reality is she had all but removed herself from the spotlight. Now coming out of a mini-retirement and pressing ahead with a headline slot at one of the most anticipated music festivals of the season, is risky. Ok let’s be real. It’s risky as fuck.

Risk is nothing new to Missy. With a mixture of skillful lyricism, musicality unparalleled, and maybe a little magic, Missy has been killing shit since the late 90s.

I still remember where I was when I was first introduced to Missy. My then-best-friend Kate and I were sitting in her attic bedroom. I was ridiculously jealous of this bedroom, hell I still am to this day, but she had cable. Errybody got choices, and I went assuming it was better than my alternatives of sitting at home and staring blankly at the wall.

It was sitting there flipping through channels, cross-legged on her green shag rug that I first saw the Goddess.

Bright and shiny, with these ridiculously huge over the forehead sunglasses, and what could best be described as an inflatable trash bag onesie. She was nowhere near the typical chicks you would see in the mainstream – she probably weighed about 200 lbs and was rocking bright orange overalls and Timbalands. There was no skin showing – not even cleavage.

It wasn’t just HER though, the entire presentation was insane. The fish-eye angles, the boldly colored landscapes, the over-the-top story lines all made her seem more like an anime character come to life.

The video didn’t have much point, the song didn’t make a lot of sense, and neither did she.

I was under her spell in less than five minutes.

“Wow I am like, so surprised this is on MTV…” Kate said, “…you don’t usually see chicks that look like her on television.”


missy-elliot-supa-dupa-fly the video and not dancing? Was it because she was weird? Was it because she seemed sort of nerdy? Or is it the obvious answer – because she doesn’t look like a typical video vixen?”

I would never know what Kate meant. I may be a 34 year old goddess-badass now, but at age 14 shit was different. Confidence did not ooze from my fingertips. Back then I was too nervous to rock the boat by asking her to clarify. Kate didn’t even seem to like Missy much.

I couldn’t help it though. I gravitated towards Missy.I was a nerdy chick. The kind that read books, and comics, and played video games. I was a tomboy, who didn’t dress in the low-rise jeans and mini skirts. I was weird. I was brown. I didn’t make sense to anyone.

Oh, and I was chubby AF.

The difference between Missy and myself (back then) was that Missy did not give a single, solitary fuck. She was unapologetically and completely herself, with no qualms about it.





Olivia Monahan

May 31st, 2017

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