Missy Elliott kicked off VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors: The ’90s Game Changers on Monday night with a fearsome performance of her 1999 single “She’s a Bitch.” Elliott recreated many aspects of the lavish, Hype Williams-directed video for the track onstage.
At the Hip-Hop Honors event, Elliott and her dancers emerged from a pool of water clad entirely in black like commandos ready to embark on a night raid. (In an old behind-the-scenes clip about the making of her video, the rapper described the costume aesthetic as “ghetto S&M women.”) Elliott rapped with her typical laid-back dexterity, updating her single with a trap-like interlude for younger listeners. The army of dancers involved in the performance continued to grow, so by the time Elliott brought the song to an emphatic close, she was moving in sync with more than 20 people.
“She’s a Bitch” was co-produced by Elliott with her longtime musical partner Timbaland. The track served as the lead single for Elliott’s second album, Da Real World, which went on to sell over a million copies.
The crushing beat for “She’s a Bitch” continues to enthrall youthful listeners: the young Florida rapper Ski Mask The Slump God, part of an ascendant wave of MCs lumped together under the tag “SoundCloud rap,” sampled “She’s a Bitch” on his own hit “Catch Me Outside,” which has over 19 million SoundCloud streams. Elliott applauded Ski Mask the Slump God’s use of the track on Twitter. “He rode the heck out this,” she wrote. “Me and Timbaland did this beat in 1999 and it still bang[s].”