Missy Elliot has never failed to please with her music videos, and “Gossip Folks” is no exception. This video is as close to old school rap as is possible in the days of Eminem and P. Diddy.
Donning her blue and yellow and then red and pink Adidas sweat suits with matching sneakers and fuzzy hats, she looks much better and oozes more sex appeal than any video girl wearing pasties and a thong. Ludicris gets honorable mention in the fashion department for his ‘gator suit, shoes and debonair hat.
Three adorable little girls, one white, one Asian and one black, dance and sing throughout the video. A great moment is when they are in evening gowns and boas doing Supremes-style dance moves.
The dancing and break dancing are unique in their jerky movements, and it is enjoyable to watch dancers who have great energy. It’s especially amusing to watch the little girls break dance in their oversized sweat suits. The school setting gives them interesting places to gyrate, like the janitor’s impromptu dance with a mop in front of the bathroom, and the synchronized motions at the lunch table and on the school buses.
The class scene, with a professor looking over Missy and her classmates misbehaving, is eye-catching because of how strange the colors are. The entire scene is in shades of orange and green, and the classic Missy shot seen in “Get Ur Freak On” with the spit flying from her mouth is used with a spitball this time.
Of course Missy has to have her famous friends in the video with her. From Ludacris to Eve, many popular R&B and rap artists are featured in “Gossip Folks.” Singers Tweet, Eve and Trina sit on a lunch table crossing their legs at the camera. Rapper Ludacris beats up two guys on a basketball court and then grooms himself in the bathroom. From there he plays principal, seducing teachers and students and then shepherds the school kids onto the bus at the end of the video. By far the best celebrity cameo is Darryl McDaniels (D.M.C. of Run-D.M.C.) as the school bus driver.
The graffiti of Aliyah, Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C., and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez of TLC that was present in “Work It,” minus Jam Master Jay, is also featured in this video. It’s great that Missy can have a meaningful piece of art in her video without making it somber and depressing.
Missy Elliot’s CD “Under Construction” is out now.