Track Review: Missy Elliott ft. Lamb, ‘I’m Better’
Surprise new single “I’m Better” suggests legendary rapper Missy Elliott is one step closer to making a full-fledged comeback.
2017 might be the year. What year? The year that the legendary Missy Elliott drops her highly anticipated seventh studio album. As of 2017, Elliott hasn’t released a new album in 12 years (The Cookbook, 2005). She had good reason, given her medical condition. A new single, “I’m Better,” suggests a comeback is near…at least we hope.
“I’m Better” is crazy – in a good way for the most part. Opening with sketchy, minimalist synths, it’s clear that the innovative rapper is in sync with the times. Featuring under-the-radar collaborator Lamb, “I’m Better” oozes with swag and gimmickry. Both are perfectly suited to Elliott, who once thrived off the animated production work of Timbaland, not to mention eccentric, fiery rhymes.
Does “I’m Better” line up with the classics? No, but there’s more than enough appeal. Elliott nails a pop-cultural reference to Scandal:
“He watching my body like he watching Scandal / but I’m just here with my girls.”
The line embraces a 2010 show, but the concept is signature. “I’m Better” reminds us of the sexed-up Missy that was left behind in 2005 with The Cookbook, and even more relevant prior to that LP. Throughout her three verses and respective bridges, she captures her hotness. She doesn’t come off as vain, but confident and ready to take the game back. She asserts on verse three:
“Brand new flow when I rap / DJ, bring that back / You ain’t ever heard a track like that / Shit might slap, booty go clap.”
How does “I’m Better” stack up? Ultimately, this is a respectable comeback joint from Missy Elliott. Like “WTF” before it, it doesn’t recapture “Work It” or “Gossip Folks,” but returns a lost voice in pop and urban music. Missy, welcome back girl!