Unless you have literally been living under some sort of rock for a couple of days, then you are firmly aware that Missy Elliott brought the house down with her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance Sunday night. What? you say. I thought Katy Perry had that gig?
I am here to tell you you are wrong.
That show was owned by Missy Elliott. The same Missy Elliott that owned TRL, the radio, and every college party I attended in the 2002-2003 school year.
My friend and coworker Jessica put this up on her Facebook yesterday, and, short of actually having a photo of myself when Ms. Misdemeanor came out, this is the best I can do to show you how I looked:
My mom, dad, and I were sitting there in various stages of snacking and chatting when the halftime show started. Here comes Katy Perry, lalala, riding some sort of mechanical zoo animal and singing one of her many hits. I don't hate Katy Perry; I've been known to download a song of hers every now and then. And as she performed I was like -- cool. She's doing just fine.
The clouds parted and the sky opened up and there was Missy Elliott, minus the track suit, but still looking good as ever. My parents were like, "Who?" And I was like, "IT'S MISSSYYYYY ELLIOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT EEEEEEEE!E!E!E!E!E!E!!E!E!E!E!!!!!!" or something along those lines. (And frankly, at that point, I just wanted Katy Perry to shut it.)
I put up a Facebook status shortly after, and in about 24 hours I had 80 likes. Which is honestly more likes than I've gotten on anything in quite a while. So I started thinking about why. (Other than the general greatness of the Supa Dupa Fly which is Missy Elliott.)
Here's what I think:
Hearing Missy Elliott rap "Work It" brought us all back to being in college. Back when we were young, wore cute clothes, and our biggest worry was getting to the store to buy beer because we didn't have class on Fridays. This was back before we had to worry about things like retirement savings, vitamins, health insurance, and kids. (Which I still don't have to worry about, but the aforementioned Jessica does, so -- solidarity.) Missy Elliott is the soundtrack to driving with the windows rolled down in the sunshine on the way to the mall at 1 p.m. because it's Tuesday afternoon and no one had anywhere to be again till 9 a.m. the next morning.
Somehow we all aged from 20 to 30 in the blink of an eye, but in our hearts we're still those 21-year-old kids who could be motivated solely by the words "DJ, please pick up your phone, I'm on the request line" because we knew exactly what was coming next and the answer is Yes. It is worth it, so let's work it.
The only logical conclusion I can draw here is that the class of 2002 is in DESPERATE need of an all-out dance party, Natty Light included. And we all know what song will be first on that playlist.
So, Missy Elliott, thanks for reminding us who we were. It could not have come a moment too soon.
(Oh, and for good measure, I'm sure everyone remembers when Missy Elliott rocked that trash bag, right?)