Songs We Love: BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx, 'Hot Boyz' The Atlanta singer and DJ follow closely, but not wholly, in Missy Elliott's empowering footprints in this flip of her subversive hit single from 1999.
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01Hot Boyz

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Songs We Love: BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx, 'Hot Boyz'

Songs We Love: BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx, 'Hot Boyz'

01Hot Boyz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/472387869/472389435" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx Faisal Mohammed/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Faisal Mohammed/Courtesy of the artist

BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx

Faisal Mohammed/Courtesy of the artist

You'd be hard-pressed to find a figure who has mapped out a more distinct blueprint for women in hip-hop and R&B than Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. (If you'd like a brief, colorful history of the impact of Missy Elliott, tune into this very special episode of the podcast The Read.) During the height of her career thus far, Elliott introduced the world to a plethora of hidden female talent — from Nicole Wray to Lil' Mo to 702. She also had a hand in cementing the already-successful careers of Mýa, Christina Aguilera, Pink and Lil' Kim when they appeared on the instant classic and Labelle salute "Lady Marmalade," which she produced in 2001. And then there's the mentorship she's offered to the likes of Aaliyah, Ciara and Jazmine Sullivan.

Elliott's influence and exploration as a rapper, singer, producer and talent spotter are inextricably woven throughout the game — and there's no doubt that she's a central reason we have fearless women like R&B singer BOSCO and DJ-producer Speakerfoxxx in the mix today.

Girls In The Yard (Fool's Gold, 2016). Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Both from Atlanta, BOSCO and Speakerfoxxx have been stoking their own fires for a minute now, working individually over the past several years on LPs, side hustles and DJ tours. Their upcoming collaborative project, Girls In The Yard, shows how the two artists intentionally crossed their wires in order to create a necessary and new type of feminine blaze. Their latest single — a top-to-bottom remix of Missy Elliott's brilliantly subversive "Hot Boyz" — is a peek at how the women are primed to make noise together with reckless abandon, following closely, but not wholly, in the footprints of Elliott herself.

With an assist from New York-based producer REO, Speakerfoxxx melds the revamped "Hot Boyz" with her own rework of the risqué "Oops (Oh My)" by Tweet, which Elliott co-wrote. REO coaxes the track forward with an undulating rhythm that feels like an old-school video game (think Pong or Snake): direct and simple, but simultaneously riveting. In usual fashion, BOSCO floats over the beat with her seductive whisper of a voice, borrowing Elliott's words and somehow making them feel more vulnerable. The spaciousness of the new production gives Speakerfoxxx room to play Tweet's vocals against BOSCO's, making Elliott's timeless hit feel contemporary and right at home in the current style of modular, off-the-wall R&B. If anything, this track is further proof that this industry, and — let's not front — the world, needs Missy Elliott and her energy in any way, shape or form we can get.

Girls In The Yard is out April 11 via Fool's Gold.