our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
Back in 1997
it was made fairly clear that Missy Elliot's place in hip-hop
wasn't just to be another female face in a majorly-male-dominated
genre. When "The Rain" hit airwaves (and TV with that
sick video), people immediately took notice and have
been craning their necks to see where she's going ever since.
We've always known she had an un-f#$king-believable album in her;
it was just taking some time for it to work its way out.
Construction is that disc. While not the hip-hop
album of the year (see Blackalicious's Blazing Arrow),
it's damned close. Like usual, Timbaland's the mastermind behind
most beats and programming. Only this time around, Missy's put
a hell of a lot more of her own input into setting things up for
her vocals, incorporating a healthy dose of old-school beats and
samples. Just give one listen to "Gossip Folks" (feat.
Ludacris) - this is where "izzo" came from.
announces on the intro track (and other spoken interludes throughout),
Under Construction is a throwback to the "glory
days" of when hip-hop was about nothing but having fun making
music. Her "Back in the Day" collaboration with Jay-Z
pretty much spells it straight out: "Remember when we used
to battle / on the block / before the lights came on. Oh, Momma
said we'd be / straight-A kids / if we did our homework / like
we knew them songs."
And of course
there's "Work It." Remember how I mentioned before that
this was almost the hip-hop album of the year? Well "Work
It," with it's funky-as-hell phrasing, lyrical play, inventive
use of an elephant sound, and pretty much everything else in the
damn song is hands down the single of the year.
In past outings,
Missy's shown her flashes of brilliance, but there have always
been the holes from missteps. Under Construction is built
to survive an earthquake.
liked Under Construction...
2. Work It
3. Bring the Pain
4. Gossip Folks
5. Back in the Day
7. Go to the Floor
8. Play That Beat
9. Nothing Out There for Me
11. Funky Fresh Dressed
12. Ain't That Funny
13. Swing Your Partner
14. Can You Hear Me?