“Get Ur Freak On” is from the third studio album (“Miss E… So Addictive”) by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, real name: Melissa Elliott. Written by Both Elliot and Tim Mosley (also known as Timbaland), the track defined the R&B sound that would soon fill the early 2000’s music scene.
The track is based on “bhangra” elements, which is a well-known music and dance form that originates from Punjab, India. The track features a six note melody that is a Punjabi melody, created using a “tumbi” (a instrument known to Punjab) as well as a table, which is also an instrument that is heavily used in India. The track starts with a man speaking this line in Japanese: “Everyone start dancing together wildly now. Let’s make some noise, let’s make some noise.” The track doesn’t discuss any political or serious issues, but focuses on letting go and having fun: “Now people gather ‘round, now people jump around”, as well as the chorus: “Go, get your freak on, go get your freak on”, which is repeated almost ten times. The track also plays on the idea of self-love and making sure every individual knows how powerful they are.
The music video was directed by Dave Meyers, who has directed a multitude of music videos for various artists from Billie Eilish to Taylor Swift. Uploaded to the official Missy Elliot YouTube channel on the 26th October 2009, and as of May 2019, the video has over 41 million views. Featuring cameos from rappers Ludacris, LL Cool J, Timbaland, Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, Master P, Spliff Star, Lil’ Romeo, Nate Dogg, Eve and singer Nicole Wray, the music video consists of Elliot dancing around with her musical friends, in a park style terrace with chandeliers hanging above.
Release Date: 6th March 2001
Songwriter/s: Melissa Elliot, Tim Mosley
Label/s: Goldmind, Elektra
Music Video Director: Dave Meyers
Music Video Release Date: 26th October 2009
Chart Rankings & Certifications: In its year of release, “Get Ur Freak On” went to #1 in the UK Dance Charts, #7 in the US Billboard Hot 100, also making its way to Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Brazil. The track received Gold certification in the UK and Platinum in the US.