Throughout the course of a career that’s spanned four decades and counting, Melissa Arnette Elliott—which translates to “she who puts her thang down, flips it, and reverses it” in Wakandan—has made it her civic duty to astonish and astound us for a living. And in her efforts to continue to reach new heights, over the weekend in Las Vegas, the Grammy Award-winning
rapper singer trailblazer combined superpowers with Patrón to help celebrate the launch of its newest luxury tequila, El Alto.
So what all went down? I’m glad you asked.
When you’re in the presence of the pinnacle of prestige, who then partners with a force of nature as iconic as Missy Elliot, you must prepare accordingly for your mind to be blown. So keeping that in what’s left of your mind, the Supa Dupa Fly rapper kicked things off Thursday with the unveiling of her first-ever wax figure at Madame Tussauds—which approximately 97.4 percent of the population has mistaken for her identical twin.
And no, while all Black people don’t look alike, you aren’t the only one who can’t tell these two apart. I mean, look at this shit.
Afterward, Missy concluded the unveiling
of her long-lost twin with a celebratory toast of El Alto among family and friends—as well as a surprise visit from Lil Wayne—before taking the stage on Friday night at Zouk Nightclub for her first live performance in entirely too damn long (three years, to be exact). As she put jaws on the floor with platinum hit after hit like “Work It,” “Get Ur Freak On,” and “WTF (Where They From),” she abandoned the stage entirely and opted instead to perform in the crowd. Because when you’re one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived, that’s pretty much par for the course.
On Saturday, Missy shifted her attention to an intimate dinner with friends, family, and copious amounts of El Alto—disguised as cleverly named cocktails like the Missy Margarita, Work It, and the Under Construction Old Fashioned—to raise a glass in celebration of the 20th anniversary of her second album, Under Construction. She also used the opportunity to reflect on the challenges she faced early in her career, back when music execs still had the audacity to doubt her ability to push the boundaries of popular music.
“I’ve done so many things out of the box, and I try to stay as true to myself as I can, even if ‘myself’ seems a bit crazy,” she told Rolling Stone’s Sage Anderson. “I continuously push the envelope just to do something that’s greater than the last. And it just keeps getting higher, the expectations for myself. Not just from what I think the people expect, but from myself.”
She continued, “I’ll never forget when I did ‘Lose Control’. [The label] told me it was never gonna play. Because it was too fast, right?” she says. “The popular music tempos were changing at the time and I was like, “Man, I don’t care. I’m gonna try.” I always say I’d rather it don’t work out, but I believed in it. As opposed to you doing something somebody else felt like you should do, and then it don’t work out. Because then you’re just kicking yourself. You have to stay true to yourself.”
One thing’s for sure, and two things are for certain: Missy is always gonna stay true to herself. And undoubtedly, we’re all better for it. So shout out to her for everything she’s accomplished throughout her career (but are we getting a new album or nah?), and of course, much love to Patrón for the launch of its masterfully aged, luxury tequila, El Alto, and personally ensuring that one of the most influential artists of all time (of ALL TIME, I said) received her flowers while she’s still here.