3 min

Big booty wigglin’

And blind man penis poetry

Credit: Xtra files

“Run for cover muthafucka!” So says Portsmouth, Virginia’s Missy Elliott on her fun but uneven fifth album, This Is Not A Test. Missy and partner Timbaland are now inspired by early 1980s rap and R&B and the beats are simple and not as cluttered as in the past.

While this album is a glorious, clever, booty wiggler, it’s slightly unformed, like the start of something new. It hasn’t won me over like the sublime Miss E… So Addictive from 2001 or 2002’s Under Construction.

I do love Elliott’s emotional complexity. She is confident, brazen, sexual, crazy, upset, scared, confused. It’s all fired up in a hot intense package with strong support from talented friends Mary J Blige, Jay-Z, Monica and Nelly. Missy is a skillful “femcee” but where she loses me is her bland singing and the tired love songs. They just don’t have the bite or sincerity of the delicious dance tracks.

Of course you’ve heard “Pass That Dutch.” It’s mighty fine and echoes “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It” with its genius stripped-down production and mind- blowing sound collages. “Wake Up” is the plum on this album. Slappy sounds of nasty water drops hitting tin roofs as Missy and Jay-Z inform you “Hip-hop better wake up!” and “Down the hill like Jack and Jill/ I speak what yah weak mind lacks.” She’s sick of the violence, the drugs and the status symbols. “You ain’t gotta cellular phone, it’s all right.” Relentless observations abound.

“I’m Really Hot” is Missy giving herself props accompanied by insane Kraftwerk synth ragga. “I’m really, really hot/ Every time my records drop/ Radio says I won’t stop/ ‘Cus I’m killin’ em!” The silly Prince inspired “Dat’s What I’m Talkin’ About” dazzles with the first line, “Have you ever been in the mind of a virgin?/ It gets hot and curious.” Missy and R Kelly have vocal fun as daring words are sung in sexy falsetto.

I really love “Toys,” Missy’s ode to her beloved sex toys. Mel’s Rock Pile funk and spacey disco effects service the amusing “Mary Jane Girl” lyrics. “I’m just keeping myself occupied like all women do when they are taking a bath/ And when you leave, make sure you don’t slam the door because you fuck up my concentration.” Tee hee.

“Pump It Up” salutes the full- figured gal in all her glory. Nelly helps celebrate big ass hips and the beloved big booty. It’s just a fun dance song with a message. “Love my gut, so fuck a tummy tuck, Oh yeah!/ Yup I shakes my butt/ Shakes my gut like ‘yeah bitch, what?”

Don’t get me started on “Let Me Fix My Weave.” This stellar black trash stunner has gotta become a drag queen staple… it’s hard to resist. “You pick me up about a quarter to three/ Before I walk in a club I gotta fix my weave.” I can’t get it out of my head.

On “Let It Bump” Missy gets hard-core old school with shout outs to Shante and Big Daddy Kane, reminding new MCs to remember those who came before them. It’s very respectful of both parties. The siren blares, scratching and metronome join in as Missy chants, “I’m Missy… I’m Missy on the microphone.” You want her joyous chant to go on forever. She’s too good. Who-di-whooo!


One album that hit the stores in 2003 and, surprisingly, is not on any critics’ best-of lists was The American Song-Poem Anthology: Do You Know The Difference Between Big Wood And Brush. Listen to this album of obscure, hilariously bad words set to music and you realize why. But it would definitely be on my top 10. The tracks date back to the mid-1960s and were made by low-budget song factories. Writers paid these factories $75 to $400 to have their words set to whatever genre they specified. Then composers would write melodies and hired studio players and singers would record the divine disasters within minutes. Topics include Richard Nixon, green fingernails, duck eggs and a blind man’s penis!

Here are my faves. Bobbi Blake’s “I Like Yellow Things” is basically “I Was Raised On Country Sunshine” with the theme of yellow. “Lemon pies and butterflies, yellow submarines, corn on the cob and tangerines [?!!]/ I like yellow things.” Bill Joy’s “How Long Are You Staying” is a funky number that is basically a song that rhymes the word “disco” as many times as possible. “Disco, disco, disco, I am going to Mount Kisco/ I am going to buy Crisco/ To bake a cake so I can disco.”

The Hidden Cameras should cover Rod Rogers and The Swinging Strings’ “Little Rug Bug.” He’s so warm and snug/ When I hug, hug, hug little rug bug.” It’s actually a cool song, neat sounds take you to a dark, sweet place.

“Pinch Me” is a jaw-dropping duet – very Percy Faith. “My mouth opened wide as if it’s saying come on in/ My tongue hanging so low that it could cover my chin.” Then there’s the pro- masturbation but porn-hating “All You Need Is A Fertile Mind” and Ramsey Kearney’s life-affirming “Blind Man’s Penis (Peace And Love)” – “It’s erect because he’s blind.” A camp classic. Who-di-whooo!


Missy Elliott.

Warner. $17.99.


Bar/None. $24.99.