Missy Elliott made a surprise visit to a fan's Atlanta home over the weekend as a personal show of appreciation for a poem she wrote. Kiera Nelson penned a piece called “For Color Girls (The Missy Elliott Poem),” inspired by Elliott’s 1997 track “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”
“I’d heard the song a million times, but my mind had been on representation, feminism and intersectionality,” Nelson explained to Atlanta INtown. “When people talk about feminism, they don’t mean hip hop girls. It’s through the white woman’s gaze. I realized that Missy had been doing feminism through hip hop longer than we’ve been having this conversation. And she’s been doing it in a way the black community understands. Missy has never been afraid to share the spotlight with other women, and that’s just not done now. The hip hop girls don’t like each other. That made the poem come to life.”
Video of Nelson, who also goes by “Miss Haze,” performing the poem in Boston last year made it’s way around the Web, and thanks to activist Deray McKesson, Elliott was able to get in touch with her. “Missy sent me a message and said, ‘I saw your poem and it’s amazing work,” Nelson recalled.
She would recite the poem again last October for the Individual World Poetry Slam in Washington, D.C. The now-viral video of her performance was uploaded online last week. Elliott reached out again for Nelson’s phone number and address to send her a surprise. “On New Year’s Day, the phone rang and it was Missy. I thought… oh, my god, Missy Elliott is on my phone.”
Nelson waited for the special delivery, but she had no idea it would be Elliott herself. “I didn’t think she would show up, but at 9 p.m. there was a knock on my door. There were two women outside who said they had a surprise for me and five seconds later Missy was standing there. The tweets would have been enough, the phone call would have been enough, but to personally show up at my doorstep is amazing.”
Check below for Nelson's photo with her muse and her performance of “For Colored Girls (The Missy Elliott Poem)."
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(Photo: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)