FLO creates a hot lady song fit for the 2020s based on a flip of Missy Elliott’s “Work It” sample that is truly fascinating (a rarity these days). The song is the ideal fusion of modern uptempo R&B production by MNEK with the Y2K aesthetic resurgence. In terms of lyrics, the group borrows from Missy’s breakthrough hit’s second verse, which goes, “If you a fly girl, get your nails done / Get a pedicure, get your hair done,” and updates the bawdy vibe with a focus on independence and self-assurance. They say in the very catchy chorus of the song, “See, you’re tellin’ me I’m pretty, but it’s obvious / I don’t need no man to tell me where the party is,” Along with the original “Work It” sample, Missy additionally delivers a potent rap stanza.
It’s an iconic moment that serves as a reminder of Missy Elliott’s contribution to the development of hip-hop, R&B, and pop music. She even alludes to the famous Halle Berry lyric from the original song, thus establishing a link between the ’00s and ’20s. In the same way that “Immature” and “Not My Job” allude to Destiny’s Child’s late ’90s/early ’00s sound without succumbing to those influences, FLO and Missy Elliott truly rework the sample into something new.
Renée Downer, Stell Quaresma, and Jorja Douglas make for equally fantastic vocals on “Fly Girl.” It is extremely pleasant to hear a vocal ensemble that 1) doesn’t (nearly) exclusively sing in unison and 2) performs as a unit rather than three separate soloists. Their harmonized runs are astonishingly clean. For FLO, “Fly Girl” is the perfect song at the perfect time because it is catchy, feels both familiar and present, and crosses generational boundaries all at once. This ought to be their official international breakout chart success.