Missy Elliott Assists Lizzo For A Banger That Sounds Large & In Charge
Minneapolis, Minnesota rapper Lizzo is no stranger to embracing individuality. The artwork to her upcoming album, Cuz I Love You, showcases the artist sitting in the nude in front of a blank photo backdrop. That LP’s lead single, “Juice,” celebrates being comfortable in a plus-sized body, placing an attitude within a celebration of the natural form. Lizzo has been featured as a guest judge in RuPaul’s Drag Race, created thoughtful, positive songs about her race and sexuality, and continues to advocate for the celebration of simply being an individual. Playboy‘s Eve Barlow put it aptly in the magazine’s upcoming Spring issue, calling her “Lizzo the Incomparable.”
Comparatively, though, “Juice” stands as standard Pop-Rap, while her newest track, “Tempo” featuring Missy Elliott, sounds as fresh as an Misdemeanor single from the early 2000s. Here, Lizzo goes toe-to-toe with the legendary MC who so obviously influenced her career.
After a short guitar riff that could make hometown hero Prince proud, “Tempo” immediately turns into an Electric-tinged dancefloor anthem. Lizzo delivers a commanding hook that warns the club to get ready: “Slow songs, they for skinny h*es, Can’t move all of this here to one of those / I’m a thick b*tch, I need tempo, f*ck it up to the tempo.” After a pattern of hand-claps, she dives into a batch of clever, sexy rhymes. She fiercely delivers: “F*ck it up, f*ck it up, Boyfriend watchin’, oh now he wanna knuckle up / Get on this ride, baby, you gon’ have to buckle up / Thick thighs save lives, call me little buttercup.”
Missy drops a fiery third verse to kick the heat up a little, dropping her signature playful tongue rolls throughout, and connecting with Lizzo for a fully empowering song. She closes the record out, proclaiming: “Get your own dough, Get your bread, own dough / Go on, ladies, head to the floor / F*ck up the tempo, thick girls get low.”
Earlier this month in an interview with Beats 1, Lizzo revealed how badly she wanted to collaborate with Elliott. She explained to host Travis Mills explained that she reached out to Missy Elliott after hearing “Tempo,” believing it was a track that was “so obviously Missy.” “I was like, I hope she blesses me with a verse,” she said about contacting the Grammy-winning rapper. “Like, you never know, you send it to your idols, you never know if they gonna send it back.”
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There’s a lot of promo shit the label™️ wanted me to post today but I’d rather share these intimate moments and an even more intimate story. 2 years ago I met my hero. I played her my music, she threw beats at me as I freestyled. It was fun and life changing—10 years ago if you told me I’d rap w/ Missy Elliott, I’d think that was impossible…so we took selfies because I thought I’d never see her again. I never posted these pictures because they were just for me.. a secret I held close to my heart. But also… deep down inside I knew one day we’d have something even more special than a selfie. Today is that day. Missy, you are the inspiration of my entire career. When you dropped music videos (🗣give her the vanguard award 🤬 @mtv @vmas !!!!!) or SHUT DOWN award shows I felt SEEN. More importantly I felt REPRESENTED. You made this chubby, weird, black girl believe that ANYTHING was possible. And now we have a BANGER together 😩— till this day you continue to inspire me to make my dreams come true. Now go fuck it up to the #TEMPO and STREAM OUR SONG!!!! 🔥🎸 Love You @missymisdemeanorelliott 💋
Lizzo posted on her Instagram to further celebrate the song’s release, including multiple selfies with Missy Elliott. The Nice Life/Atlantic album, Cuz I Love You, is due out April 19, 2019.