So, apparently there was a huge K-pop convention in Los Angeles called KCon last weekend, and while all of us were huddled around our TVs watching Miley Cyrus twerk her way into the cultural zeitgeist, hip-hop’s first lady Missy Elliot decided to unveil her new collaboration with Korean MC G-Dragon titled “Niliria” — which will appear on his forthcoming album Coup D’etat — live on stage in front of thousands of K-pop fanatics. This is important for a number of reasons.
First off, it’s a really high profile collaboration between hip-hop sensibilities from both sides of the Pacific, further pointing toward the oncoming onslaught of Korean hip-hop and pop stars that are slowly invading the US markets. For Missy, it’s a warning shot over the bow. Outside of some scattered production credits, the occasional guest spot or cameo on a soundtrack, Missy hasn’t released much material — let alone a full length album — since 2005′s The Cookbook.
And Lord knows what ever happened to Block Party and those singles “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat. But this performance is a reminder of just how electrifying she can be when she’s dialed in and spitting labyrinthine verses over a batshit crazy beat. And make no mistake: “Niliria” is a flat out banger. It shuffles and jumps with weird outbursts of energy, fueled by skittering hi-hats, handclaps, schoolyard rhymes and apocalyptic air horns blaring in from every direction. G-Dragon more than keeps up with Missy’s frantic rhymes, but this is her show, and we’re damn glad she’s back.