WTF (Where They From)

Album: Block Party (2015)
Charted: 66 22

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from the album Block Party, a snippet was debuted on October 26, 2015, during halftime on Monday Night Football. The futuristic, uptempo production was supplied by Missy Elliott's longtime collaborator, and fellow Virginia native Pharrell Williams, who also drops a verse in the song.
  • Some fans have been speculating if the lyrics on the hip-hop banger's hook are aimed at Miley Cyrus:

    The dance you doing is dumb, how they do where you from
    Stickin' out your tongue girl, but you know you're too young


    Since Missy's heyday in the 1990s, the youth have had other performers to look up to like Miley Cyrus, who is well known for both her twerking style of dancing and for sticking out her tongue.
  • The song samples the voice of Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel, who can be heard throughout the song muttering the phrase "in person." The sample comes from a 2013 interview with former CNN broadcaster Piers Morgan.
  • The Dave Meyers-directed visual is Missy Elliott's first video in three years. The last time we saw the rapper was her appearance in J. Cole's 2012 clip for "Nobody's Perfect." The video features guest appearances from the dance duo Les Twins and Missy Elliott's protégée Sharaya J.

    Instead of showing up in the physical sense, Pharrell appears as a dancing marionette. Missy gets her own puppet too. "The puppet idea I had seen somebody do on the street," she recalled to i-D. "I held onto that idea for five years because I didn't have a record that matched that idea."

    "So I showed Pharrell the clip I had, and he said 'You know you got to do a video for this'. Believe it or not, we have been making this video since March. The puppets themselves took two and a half, to three months to make. It was very detailed, we had people from StarTrak working on this video, so it was a lot."
  • Missy Elliott is decked out in an extravagant glass outfit during part of the video. Speaking with i-D, the Virginia native explained that it was difficult and painful to wear. "We all came up with the glass outfit, which was the hardest thing to wear because it was really cut up glass so I was bleeding and everything!" she said. "I was so agitated but I had to get it done. I was bloody and bloodied. There was blood everywhere!"
  • Asked by The Guardian what her reaction was to Pharrell's first line in his part of the song ("I come into this bitch like a liquid"), Missy replied laughing, "Hey! It's Pharrell! Actually, when he played me the beat, he already had his verse written."

    "He knew it when he got in the studio - he said: 'Hey, I gotta get some bars on this thing.' When he started rapping, the flow was so crazy that he could have said ANYTHING! I felt like it was Neptunes Pharrell – spaceship, futuristic, boombastic type stuff. Yeah! Hey! Pharrell can say anything and make it hot!"

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