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Everyone Loves a Good Comeback

| Thursday, November 19, 2015

Comeback_Banner_WebJanice Chung | The Observer

A storm is a-brewin’, and everyone needs to prepare themselves. Music has had an unreal year in 2015 thus far, with incredible records already released by artists like Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Disclosure, Tame Impala, Björk, Lana Del Rey and Justin Bieber. Seriously, the list of hit 2015 albums goes on and on and on. However, we are not done quite yet. Everyone loves a good comeback, and before the epic year of 2015 comes to an end, a series of comebacks are exactly what we’re going to get. Several artists are allegedly planning to change the music game by reemerging into the industry after taking brief, but all-too-long, hiatuses; and, as we would hope, they’re coming back swinging.

After shocking the nation by making a surprise appearance during Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl halftime show, Missy Elliott put her name back on the map. If we’re being real, the ferocious rapper’s name never even left the map — but you get the idea. Watching Queen Elliott steal the performance immediately brought me back to the wonderful days of “Lose Control” and “Get Ur Freak On,” reigniting my faith in humanity, or at least my faith in hearing some new Missy material.

Now, months after her unanticipated return, she released her newest single “WTF (Where They From),” featuring contemporary megastar Pharrell, on November 12, 2015, three years after her last single. The comeback track hits a perfect blend between old school Missy and fresh creativity, delivering an ambitious, bass-filled beat and stellar bars; and, as you would have guessed, the music video is filled with the rapper’s signature choreography and wild wardrobe. On the heels of the single and music video, new music and, more importantly, a full Missy record are expected to be released in the near future.

Next we have Erykah Badu. The ridiculously talented and creative R&B artist recently delivered one of the best covers of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” seemingly out of nowhere. Badu has essentially been M.I.A. for quite some time, having not released any new material since the debut of “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh” in 2010. Shortly after the release of her unique cover, Erykah graced the world with an original song, “Phone Down,” early last week. She also revealed that her upcoming, Drake-inspired mixtape, titled “You Cain’t Use My Phone,” would be coming out this Thanksgiving.

Ladies and gentlemen, last but certainly not least, Ms. Lauryn Hill. Although Hill had a swift run with The Fugees and a relatively brief solo career, she is definitely one of the most groundbreaking, appreciated artists to ever walk into the music industry. Her 1998 Grammy Award-winning album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is known as one of the best albums of all time, exhibiting both incomparable musicality and social relevance. After its release, Hill waited another four years before debuting “MTV Unplugged No. 2,” a live album recorded at MTV Studios. Then, unceremoniously, she practically disappeared. Over a decade later, Ms. Lauryn Hill is beginning to reemerge. She performed at this summer’s New York leg of Afropunk Fest to an enormous crowd of die-hard fans and even made an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” performing a tribute to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”

At a time in which politics, racial issues and pop culture are all colliding with incredible force, the world could use Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu and Ms. Lauryn Hill’s authentic, activist voices to deliver contemporary, unforgettable pieces of art.

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