MTV2’s popular $2Bill concert series featured, arguably, the most important rap/hip-hop artist — male or female — of this generation. Missy Elliott, a paragon of beats, scorching rhythms and rat-a-tat-tat vocal dexterity and manipulation, stormed onto the stage out of a giant boom box radio to the strains of 1999’s “She’s a Bitch.” Elliott is a curious combination of Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flava Flav, what with the mixture of serious politics and light touches of comedy, all in evidence in the hourlong show.
Since her “Supa Dupa Fly” debut in 1997, Elliott has carved an impressive body of work. Musically, she has mastered bass lines with the thickness of elephant hide, and in concert she throws them to the throbbing masses who swallow them whole, especially when the strains of “Get Ur Freak On” rise up.
A full-blown tribute to the embattled R. Kelly followed “Freak,” complete with dancers dressed in white top tuxedos and snazzy black pants as they stepped to his recent hit, “Step.”
The female dancers gave the obligatory booty shake on the energetic “Go to the Floor” as the single male dancer spun like an ice skater — on his head. It was a most impressive movement.
But just as the party was getting started right, momentum took a decided southward turn when Tweet was introduced as Elliott exited for a 20-minute break.
It seemed odd that Tweet, more known for the naughty and sensual 2001 hit “Oops Oh My,” slogged her way through several nondescript ballads and the up-tempo cut “Thug Man.”
How that will play on the planned Nov. 23 airdate is anyone’s guess.
Elliott, clothed in orange and black in honor of Halloween, returned to energize the proceedings with the hits “Gossip Folks,” “Pass That Dutch” and “Work It.”
Truth be told, Elliott would have done better had she been the sole act.