To give you some idea of how much the music world has changed since Missy Elliott last released a single, bear this is mind: In 2007 Nicki Minaj’s career launch was still a few years away, and Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana. I pick these two facts in particular because “WTF” may well double up as a sly dig at one of the aforementioned artists, and Missy’s return is an instant reclamation of her crown as Queen Of Rap from the other. Trust Melissa Arnette to come back after years away and drop an absolute banger of a three-minute song.

For those of you too young to remember a pre-Minaj world, it’s worth reminding you that Missy Elliott was one of the biggest stars of the early 21st century. A succession of huge albums (Miss E… So Addictive alone sold over 5 million copies worldwide) and an absurdly good run of singles (“The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Get Ur Freak On,” “One Minute Man,” “Work It”…I could keep going) established her place at the top of the pile of all MC’s, not just female ones. Her work with Timbaland during that period remains the creative highpoint of his career to date.

So her return with her brilliant new single, along with a typically goofy and addictive video, can definitely be counted as one of the year’s major music events. As an appetizer for her first new album in a decade (Pharrell has confirmed it is in the works), it does the job of ramping up the hype. Thanks to her impact on modern pop music, Missy Elliott never slipped into irrelevancy anyway, but now she’s back in the here and now, and we should all be delighted about that.

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Missy Elliott