Rap royalty returned to the stage at FYF Fest. A decade since her last Los Angeles show, Missy Elliott capped off Day 1 of the 14th annual festival at L.A.’s Exposition Park on Friday (July 21) with an electrifying and nostalgic set of hits.
Taking the stage shortly after 11:15 p.m., the hip-hop icon was introduced by a montage of music video clips before emerging from a mirrored door to “She’s a Bitch.” Rocking a “Queen” hat and white bejeweled jacket, the 46-year-old ran through her legendary 20-year career (and numerous flashy wardrobe changes) with classics like “One Minute Man,” “I’m Really Hot,” and “Gossip Folks,” while flanked by her squad of dancers.
“Thank y’all for supporting me over two decades,” said Missy, who last performed in the U.S. at the 2015 Essence Festival. “I was sick and I said I’m not gonna miss this show for nothing.”
Backed by DJ Rockwilder and a hypeman, Miss E took it all the way back to 1997 with “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and 1999’s “All n My Grill.” While performing “Get Ur Freak On,” she demanded that fans put down their phones and jump. Dressed in camouflage, Elliott and her army of dancers shook the stage with their militaristic moves.
At one point, her mic pack and in-ear monitors fell out, but Missy kept it moving. “I can’t hear shit, but I’m still doing this shit. That’s what you call a real artist,” she said. “So when you see people like Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, just know it be stuff that be happening, but real stars just keep it moving.”
After going backstage to fix her audio equipment, she returned with more bangers including “Lick Shots,” “Work It,” and “Pass That Dutch.”
Not only did fans show out to witness Missy’s return to the stage, Missy’s famous friends including Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Solange, Katy Perry, and Tyler, the Creator were all spotted in the audience and backstage.
In addition to serving up fan favorites, she performed her most recent singles, including “WTF (Where They From)” and “I’m Better,” for which she recreated scenes from the music video with medicine balls.
After performing “Lose Control” and going into the crowd to get up close with fans, she capped off the thrilling hour-long show on a sentimental note. As Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” played, she asked the crowd to put their lighters in the air, dedicating the song to all those who’ve passed away as images of Tupac, Big Pun, and Jam Master Jay were displayed on posters.
And just like that, Missy was gone again. She jumped back in her magical mirrored wardrobe and disappeared, revealing a marionette in her place.
In addition to Missy, Day 1 of FYF Fest featured performances from Björk, Anderson .Paak, Kamaiyah, and Majid Jordan. Day 2 continues today with Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, MGMT, and Erykah Badu.