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Missy Elliott, who will release her first album in seven years later this year, gave a preview of what to expect last night when she dropped two new tracks, “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat.” Both are produced by her longtime collaborator Timbaland.
“Triple Threat,” the first of the two tracks on the embed below, starts as a much harder rap, but, like “9th Inning,” has a strong musical bed that includes strings. This winding, insinuating rhythm features a tribute to Pimp C as Timbaland plays around with his rap from Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin,” in between rapping about his and Elliott’s dominance — “250 million” sold, he brags.
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Elliott, who comes in a little after the minute mark, compares herself and Timbaland to the new “Ike and Tina,” vowing that they are back and “I’ll slap whoever said I’m irrelevant...If you go against us/you’re going to lose your bet.”
“Triple Threat” is the more compelling of the two tracks and is much more of a package deal featuring Elliott and Timbaland equally.
“9th Inning,” as we previewed last week, opens with insistent horns and then a classical, spiraling piano run before Elliott comes in, warning“newcomers better come in and take note.”
There’s pretty of braggadocio dropped by Elliott, who says her new record deal is “no less than 10 million,” but she lets her buddy Timbaland brag about her the most, reminding her that she’s a “groundbreaker/innovator.”
Though “9th Inning” obviously references baseball, the intense, dense tone of the track feels more akin to boxing, with Elliott playing the heavyweight who has come back to reclaim her crown and you better pity the fool who thinks she can take it away. “I’ll make the next chick run to the exit.”
For his part, Timbaland wonders why Lady Gaga won’t let a “ni**a” produce her full album (is he auditioning for the job?). The song ends with Elliott joking that artists who want the dynamic duo to work with them can ask. “Now if you want a hit, maybe we’ll return the call. Don’t call collect.”
Both tracks are strong in general, but Elliott sounds a little too defensive even in a genre that relies on bragging about one’s game. No one is about to forget her, even if she waits another seven years to release new music.
Though Elliott previously announced that her new album would be called “Block Party,” Rolling Stone reports that it may be titled “Class Dismissed.” No release date has been announced.
What do you think of “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat?”