With the May 15 release of "Miss E . . . So Addictive," her third set on the Gold Mind/Elektra, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott is hitting the road like never before.X
With the May 15 release of "Miss E . . . So Addictive," her third set on the Gold Mind/Elektra, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott is hitting the road like never before.
"It's exciting," says the Portsmouth, Va., native whose marketing campaign kicked off in early February during the NBA All-Star weekend in Washington, D.C. "You really don't know how much people love to see you until you get out. People are like, 'We're so glad you came here.' I'm like, 'Maybe I need to get out a little more.' With this album, I'm going out to meet radio and retail reps and do a lot more in-stores and parties."
Al Branch, Elektra's senior director of marketing, feels the reach-out-and-touch strategy will take Elliott's sales to the next level. According to SoundScan, her debut album, "Supa Dupa Fly," has sold 1.1 million units in the U.S., while "Da Real World" has sold 1 million.
"I'm trying to take her over the top and make this album multi-platinum," says Branch. "My goal is to get at least 3 million in sales. So we're going to get her into a lot of cities to shake hands, kiss babies, and really meet her fans this time."
To that end, the winner of a national radio contest involving stations in the top-10 markets will have the opportunity to hang with Elliott in Miami during a Memorial Day-weekend bash.
Sean R. Taylor, music director at New York's WQHT (Hot 97), commends Elliott for keeping her music fresh, as well as for the new marketing approach. "Missy is one of those talented artists who always finds a way to reinvent herself," Taylor says. "She has great beats, great tracks. Her music is always pounding, moving, vibrant."
The new album mixes party tracks and ballads together with an inspirational tune and a track described as techno meets hip-hop. Elliott wrote and executive produced the set with her usual partner in beats, Timbaland. In addition to producing all the tracks, he appears on the cut "What Cha Gonna Do."
The album's first single is "Get Ur Freak On," which was sent to radio March 13; the track is supported by a video directed by Dave Meyers. Pop singer Nelly Furtado appears on a "Freak" remix, offering up a reggae chant. "People are going to bug out when they hear it," Elliott promises. "Nelly's hot on the pop side, but R&B people are going to respect her when they hear this."
Ginuwine joins Elliott on "Take Away," a radio-friendly ballad expected to be among the album's singles. Second single "One Minute Man" features Jay-Z and Ludacris on separate versions. It's not the first time Elliott has worked with Jay-Z, having appeared with him on "Is That Your Chick," a Memphis Bleek tune.
Elliot co-wrote the inspirational song "I'm Moving On," inspired by a deceased friend, with gospel singer Kim Burrell. On the track Elliott is joined by Burrell and other message-bearing sisters, including Yolanda Adams and Mary Mary.
Da Brat, who's appeared on Elliott's previous albums, contributes to the club joint "Slap-Slap," while Redman and Method Man accompany Elliott on "Dog in Heat." "They can always add to a party track," she says of the male rappers. "There's something about both of their voices that gives energy to a track."
On the hot techno number "This Is for My People," rapper Eve delivers an out-of-character flow. "I wanted it to be techno meets hip-hop," says Elliott, who's in the process of signing rock band Sider to the Gold Mind label. "I felt it would be dope for another hip-hop artist to get on it with me to make it cool."
Elliott will tour this summer, either opening for Janet Jackson or joining Timbaland, Aaliyah, and Ginuwine on a national trek. "I'd love to do either one," she says. "Going out with Ginuwine and Aaliyah would be special because they're family. On the other hand, I'm a big fan of Janet. She would make me work harder. I know her show will be so hot that I'll have to stay in the dance studio for five months straight."
On April 26, when she appears on BET's "106 & Park" for a second time, she will be joined by the Gold Mind artist Nicole. They'll be promoting "I'm Looking," the first single from Nicole's untitled sophomore album, due in July. "I'm also going to get the Gold Mind logo out there," Elliott assures. "You're going to see it everywhere."