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Under Construction

Under Construction

4.6 9
by Missy Elliott

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Any doubts about Missy Elliott's hip-hop bona fides are bulldozed by her fourth disc, Under Construction. Although she made her name with playful, pop rap-R&B successes -- particularly 2001's Miss E... So Addictive -- Missy flips the script with quirky, sex kittenish rhymes complemented by a healthy dose of


Any doubts about Missy Elliott's hip-hop bona fides are bulldozed by her fourth disc, Under Construction. Although she made her name with playful, pop rap-R&B successes -- particularly 2001's Miss E... So Addictive -- Missy flips the script with quirky, sex kittenish rhymes complemented by a healthy dose of Timbaland's nostalgic b-boy bounce and futuristic funk. On "Bring the Pain," Elliott and Method Man trade sexually charged raps over the haunting atmospherics of that eponymous 1995 Wu-Tang classic. It's not her only nod to the past, as she reworks UTFO's "Roxanne, Roxanne," reminisces about rap's golden era with Jay-Z on "Back in the Day," and prominently features a Beastie Boys sample on the tongue-twisting "Funky Fresh Dressed." But the throwback masterwork is "Work It," a simmering stew of breakbeats, inverted hooks, and Missy's triple entendre-filled raps. Missy and Tim may have looked to the Middle East for inspiration on 2001's "Get Ur Freak On," but here they keep it right in the 'hood, mainlining the hip-hop of their adolescence. And while the beats are fun, there's no mistaking the disc for a kiddie-rap jam session. Throughout, the newly svelte Missy reminds us that she's an evolved woman with feelings -- both sexual (the self-gratifying "Pussycat") and sensitive (the heartfelt "Can You Hear Me" with TLC, which mourns the loss of her homies Aaliyah, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Biggie Smalls, and 2Pac). It's that blend of party and profundity that propels Under Construction, letting us know that although Missy's a work in progress, her music's gazing toward the future.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
The fact that Missy Elliott still considers her work to be "under construction" should, justifiably, send everyone else in the rap world scurrying back to the drawing board. No other commercial rapper sounded more in command of her production and flow than Elliott during 2002, and it's no surprise that Under Construction ranks as one of the best rap LPs of the year (granted, it came against relatively weak competition). While Timbaland's stark digital soul girds these tracks, Missy herself continues her artistic progression, trying to push hip-hop forward with an almost pleading intro and neatly emphasizing her differences from other rappers by writing tracks for nearly every facet of the female side of relationships. The hit single "Work It" turns the tables on male rappers, taking charge of the sex game, matching their lewdest, rudest rhymes, and also featuring the most notorious backmasked vocal of the year. Elliott more than keeps up with a dirty-minded Method Man as well on "Bring the Pain," strikes back at haters on the self-explanatory "Gossip Folks," and produced her own duet with Beyoncé Knowles, "Nothing Out There for Me," a track that finds her trying to lure Knowles out to a party (using her best Timbaland impression) over the wishes of the diva's home-bound man. She also recognizes the constantly changing aspects of sexuality, admitting how dependent she is on a man during "Play That Beat" but ruminating on the curious power of the female persuasion on "P***ycat." Elliott goes on a refreshing old-school tear with "Back in the Day," featuring Jay-Z having more fun than he's had in a while and Missy crooning, "What happened to those good old days, when hip-hop was so much fun/those parties in the summer y'all, and no one came through with a gun." The disc closes with the TLC duet "Can You Hear Me," a tribute to Aaliyah and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Missy Elliott obviously understands how important hip-hop can be when rappers concentrate on the music instead of the violent lifestyle; fortunately, her talents are just as strong as her vision.
Rolling Stone - Gavin Edwards
Her fourth album Under Construction, uninhibited and unpredictable, is her best yet.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
Hip-hop divas have a way of weirding out after early success -- see Lauryn Hill or Mary J. Blige -- but Elliott's doing it in the best way. (B+)

Product Details

Release Date:
Elektra / Wea

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Missy Elliott   Primary Artist
Tweet   Vocals
Lisa Crawford   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

TLC   Contributor
Guru   Engineer
Mike "Hitman" Wilson   Engineer
Method Man   Contributor
Craig Brockman   Producer
Jay-Z   Contributor
Missy Elliott   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Timbaland   Producer,Executive Producer
Lili Picou   Art Direction
Josh Butler   Engineer
Alex Harris   Contributor
Beyoncé   Contributor
Tim Mosley   Composer
Senator Jimmy D   Engineer
Ludacris   Contributor
Errol "Poppi" McCalla   Producer
Ms. Jade   Contributor
Anita Marisa Boriboon   Art Direction
Roberto Fantauzzi   Photo Production
Carlos "El Loco" Bedoya   Engineer
Jeff Allen   Engineer
Christopher Bridges   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Under Construction 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Missy's newest album is bangin from track to track). No it's not her best album, but it is another "Missy Elliott Exclusive" (which she says at the beginning of every track. Besides the repeating and talking if you are a Missy fan you need to cop this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Missy Elliot in general is a very strong woman. Her life before the music business wasn't exactly perfect. But she made it, and now she is kickin' @ss and giving the music industry all she has to offer. Putting her music aside I think she is an amazing person. I met her once at an amusment park and she was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Not like Brandy, I saw her at a restraunt once and she was nothing like I had imagined. I rate this CD with 5 stars along with all of her other cd's
Guest More than 1 year ago
This new joint by Missy Elliot has a lot of truth in it. If your're a true missy fan and you listen to the things she say in Gossip Folks and Can You Hear Me is very honest. What can I say Missy is always going to keep coming at us with new crazy styles. Thanks to her beatmaster Timberland this album couldn't get nothing less than 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that missy is a wonderful aritist.rapping what sounds right, a good influence. im one of her fan. she bounced back after aaliyahs death, shes a strong lady. love ya much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I already have Missy's CD. I played it so much it scratched. All her song are off the chain. To yall who don't know what off the chain means, it means it is very good.My favorite song is number 13. Not only did she pay tribute to Aaliyah, but she also has TLC on the record to pay tribute to Left Eye. Another reason I like the CD is because of the old skool.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall good CD, if you like Missy, you would feel the CD. Its typical Missy. However, she could have done away with all the talkin' before, after and in between tracks. It gets kinda stupid after her third interupt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is great and the beats are bangin. I love her raps and her voice and this CD proves that she can produce her own songs. The Best CD of 2002!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Peepzz...if U haven't heard this album yet I suggest Your gonna do it fast because this album is just SICK. It' scertainly the best album of Missy yet. And this is only Under Construction. Imagine what her sound is gonna be when she's 'finished'. but the combination of Missy and Timbaland is just the best there izz. These beats are so sick. If you only know. J.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago