“Where they from?” hip-hop royalty Missy Elliott interrogates in her Pharrell-produced comeback single, “WTF,” calling out all the names that comfortably rose to fame in her absence. It’s a fair question to ask, coming from the woman who delivered iconic cuts like 2002’s “Work It” and 2005’s “Lose Control”—two tracks that helped unite the once disparate worlds of hip-hop and pop, making it easier for someone like Nicki Minaj to break into Top 40.
In a new interview with Billboard, Elliott fuels the blazing fire first sparked by “WTF” when rap contemporary Minaj is brought up in conversation:
When asked about Nicki Minaj, who is clearly influenced by Elliott, she mock-innocently replies, “Oh, she is?” (Speaking to her influence generally, she adds, “Unfortunately, breaking news, there is only one Missy.”)
Though this was a sly diss true to Misdemeanor’s signature nonchalance, Elliott has given praise to the emcee in past interviews, previously telling New York Magazine that “Nicki makes rapping fun again.” In Billboard, she also reflects on when she was coming up in the industry, acknowledging all the female MCs that were dominating the scene: Lil’ Kim, Lauryn Hill, Eve, Foxy Brown and Trina. “There’s room for so many, she said. “It’s important.” Watch “WTF (Where They From),” below: