Elliott, Missy : London Brixton Academy

Missy Elliott, my arse! No, seriously. Missy Elliott! [I]MY[/I] arse!

Missy Elliott, my arse! No, seriously. Missy Elliott! [I]MY[/I] arse!

Were I female and if my bum looked big in these here Levi’s, I could be up there onstage now with Missy, shaking my ‘jelly’ in an arse-wobbling contest so that our Mistress of ceremonies can be seen to be keeping it gangsta. The crowd would be baying its approval and, who knows, if I just happened to be wearing one of those lil’ thong things and it just happened to reveal itself tucked up in my sweaty arse crack, I might just be declared the winner and led off backstage by one of Missy’s two leering male rappers like some grateful groupie gagging for it. What a bum show! No, seriously. This really is one giant bummer of a show, not least for the worrying contradictions it lays bare about the true role of the female superstar rapper. Laying talent aside for one moment – and believe me, Missy had no qualms about laying her talent aside almost all night – just who is calling the shots here?

Missy is often rightly praised for championing the beauty of the fuller-figure, as opposed to the fascism of anorexia dictated by the style mags. But there must be a more dignified way for women to prove that a little fat is fabulous without waggling their tushes for a crowd of hooting males.

But this show really stank because it was one big fat rip-off. OK, we should have smelt a rat when the ticket advertised “Missy Elliott And Friends” but even the whole history of hip-hop shows, strewn as it is with unwanted ‘special guests’ for padding out contractual performance times, doesn’t prepare us for this. The Missy Show consists of about half a dozen Missy songs and a slot in the middle featuring Lil’ Mo so that Missy can go rest. Oh, and a whole bunch of talent contests. “Tonight Missy, I’m going to be DMX” isn’t literally how it went, but it might as well have. We have a dance contest so the audience can compare themselves with the Kids From Fame routine that Missy employs to mask the threadbare nature of her show. We have a singing contest and a rapping contest. All of which would be OK, if they didn’t take up the entire second half of the show.

Ask yourself this: if you went to see any other group and all they did was drag out members of the audience and tried them out singing chunks of their songs for 40 fuckin’ minutes, wouldn’t you want your money back? Exactly.

And when Missy isn’t judging the local talent – which is pretty good – she’s signing shit and chucking it into the crowd, passing among us with a phalanx of bodyguards because, as she tells us over and over and fuckin’ over again, she loves us. D’you know what? Tonight Missy Elliott resembles Dame Edna Everage. Y’know, when the Dame protests that she’s just a lil’ ol’ one of us to such a degree that you know she’s really saying we’re lucky to be breathing the same air as her? That’s how Missy comes over.

Shit, she must have sung something. Yeah, she did. ‘She’s A Bitch’, ‘Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’,

‘One Minute Man’, and a hard’n’heavy ‘Get Ur Freak On’. And that’s about it.

Miss E… so disappointing.

Steve Sutherland