The clip opens with a handful of New Yorkers already singing along to “WTF” and goes on to feature the rapper and a rotating cast of dancers working locations around the city. Though the concept is simple, the execution is far from it.
At one point, Elliott’s outfit and make-up change as she spins around, with an extended sequence featuring marionette versions of Missy and Pharrell following. The choreography is intricate and silky, the wardrobe is perfectly retro-futuristic, and both befit Elliott and Pharrell’s infectious flows over the track’s intergalactic production.
A snippet of “WTF” has been floating around since late October, when ESPN started using it in commercials and other facets of its NBA coverage. In the weeks since, the rapper has regularly teased the track with emoji-laden missives on her twitter, and on Wednesday, she posted a still from the video on her new Instagram.
The arrival of “WTF” marks Elliott’s first solo cut since 2012, when she and longtime collaborator Timbaland released “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat.” Both songs were billed as part of the follow-up to Elliott’s 2005 LP The Cookbook, but an album never materialized. The rapper has since made a handful of guest appearances, including recent tracks with Skrillex and Diplo’s Jack Ü and Janet Jackson.
Elliott has yet to announce a title or release date for her next record. But in a 2014 interview, Timbaland teased the long-gestating project as, “It’s something you ain’t never heard Missy do. It sounds today, but the future.”