Last weekend there was a sporting event that took place in Arizona, perhaps you heard about it or even watched it. Officially, one of the two sports teams competing in that event one. Unofficially, though, the winner showed up in Katy Perry’s halftime show. No, I’m not talking about Left Shark:
Left Shark is delightful, but the kind of silly internet ephemera that will make for a vaguely amusing Halloween costume in eight months time.
The real winner was Missy Elliott. After the Super Bowl, Missy Elliott’s sales surged 2,500%. I did not put an extra zero in that number. Also, the music charting “week” starts on Tuesday, so that’s not counting the bump she got Sunday night through Monday. She landed three songs in the iTunes top 10 this week, almost ten years after she released her last studio album. The decision to include the hip-hop legend was Katy Perry’s, and the appearance had been in the work a few months. I have heard some people express doubts that Katy Perry would have been enough of a fan to think of Missy Elliott and invite her of her own accord. I say to these people; clearly you underestimate how much white suburban milennials loved hip-hop. Perry would have been graduating highs school around the time “Get Ur Freak On” was released. If she had a prom, I guarantee it was played there.
Some people were upset that some younger viewers didn’t know who Missy Elliott was. And yeah, I get that it can make you feel old when teens aren’t down with your music anymore, but Ms.Elliott’s response?
I think it's cool new kids think I'm a new artist that goes to show u that I'm still on 🔥 & will rip down stages 20 yrs later— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) February 2, 2015
This is where I would put the video of the performance if the NFL would let me. The NFL, however, is wrong about a lot of things and right now they are wrong about pulling down videos of Super Bowl halftime shows. Here’s the music video for “Lose Control” instead:
It’ll take a while before we can tell if Missy Elliott can begin a new phase of her career from this point, but at the very least she’s gained some new fans and reminded a few old ones that she’s still as good as they remember. And, frankly, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would rather remember Super Bowl XLIX as the Super Bowl Missy Elliott Won instead of the Super Bowl The Patriots Won, Again.