City Girls Call on Missy Elliott for the 'Twerkulator' Video - Rolling Stone
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City Girls Get the Missy Elliott Treatment in ‘Twerkulator’ Video

At the helm of the “Twerkulator” video, Elliott channels the bright, surreal cinematography that made her iconic

In the new Missy-Elliott-directed music video for “Twerkulator,” rap duo City Girls thrive as a dance-attack takes over an unsuspecting town.

At the helm of the “Twerkulator” video, Elliott channels the bright, surreal cinematography that helped her earn her (long overdue) MTV Video Vanguard Award in 2019. The video begins with Elliott’s hurried voice issuing a familiar warning to citizens of a neon soundstage cityscape. When they scatter, the metropolis is revealed to be filled with gyrating designer lamps, living beauty supply store mannequin heads, and a towering clock with the City Girls as the hands. “Twerkulator” was choreographed by Sean Bankhead, known for his work with Elliott, Beyoncé, and Normani.

The video comes after the single’s May release and the months of anticipation that preceded it, heightened by the popularity of the song on TikTok. It was held up by sample clearance issues —specifically arising from the song’s use of Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock.”

“I’ve been sitting back and looking for our sound,” City Girl’s JT told Rolling Stone in 2020. With “Twerkulator,” they’ve landed on something both nostalgic and modern — something both borrowed and wholly their own. 

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