Missy Elliott Feat. Pharrell Williams: WTF (Where They From) (2015) Online
The Dave Meyers-directed piece opens with Downtown Los Angeles residents singing along to Elliott's "WTF" while going about their usual routines. The video then takes the viewers' attention to a glitzy-disco-cloaked Elliott dancing along an abandoned alleyway, before transitioning to rapid-paced choreography by Elliott and her background dancers. Elliott is then quickly shown rapping to the camera, where she begins to morph a cheetah-print tattoo from one side of her face to the other. Moments later, a segment follows with Williams and Elliott as dancing marionettes rapping their verses. The remainder of the video then inter-cuts with Elliott and headlamp-sporting others dancing upon open boxes and moving hover-boards. Guest appearances throughout the visual's entirety comprises Les Twins and Missy Elliott's protegee Sharaya J.
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"WTF (Where They From)" is a 2015 single by American recording artist Missy Elliott, featuring Pharrell Williams, who provides guest verses as well as being the song's producer.
It is Elliott's first single, and first music video, since 2008's "Shake Your Pom Pom", although she had been a featured artist on others' singles and videos, and had released promotional singles, during the intervening years.
"WTF" has not yet been released on an album, although it has been mentioned as a song for her long-awaited seventh album, which was first announced in 2008, and which at one point was to be named Block Party.
"WTF (Where They From)" is a futuristic up-tempo number that incorporates a "drum line esque" pattern and a trap backdrop.
The song's entirety also features a female voice muttering the phrase "in person," which derives from Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel, who uttered the wording in a 2013 interview with former CNN broadcaster Piers Morgan.
The prestigious Village Voice named "WTF (Where They From)" the sixth-best single released in 2015 on their annual year-end critics' poll, Pazz & Jop.
Shooting locations of music video included Downtown Los Angeles, Westlake, Los Angeles, Pershing Square (Los Angeles Metro station), and an "under-entrance" near Sixth Street Viaduct.
Less than 9 hours after its initial premiere, the video accumulated over 3 million views via YouTube.
In Britney Spears' Britney: Piece of Me revamped Vegas residency show, "WTF (Where They From)" was performed as a medley along with other Elliott songs.
Pitchfork Media awarded the song with their "Best New Track" tag, praising Elliott's comeback, the track's production and lyrical criticism of cultural appropriation, and eventually naming the track the 30th best of 2015.