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Era-defining rapper and eternal #NailInspo Missy Elliott will be receiving the MTV Video Music Awards highest honour, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, at the VMAs on August 26, making her the first female rapper to do so. The music icon will also perform live at the show for the first time since 2003 when she was nominated in nearly every eligible category for “Work It,” taking home the Moon Man for Video of the Year and Hip-Hop Video of the Year.

For three decades, Miss Missy has been killing it not only as a rapper, singer and songwriter, but also as a producer and capital-P ~Performer~ with five—count ’em!—Grammys to her name. Ahead of her VMAs performance, there will be a pop-up fan event in NYC honouring all things MISSY, aptly called, “MTV & Pepsi Celebrate the Museum of Missy Elliott.” Not sure why that’s only a popup (because a permanent Missy Elliott museum would be, in a word, sick) but it is what it is.


And it looks like there’s going to be more than just Missy’s legacy to celebrate. Just last month, in an interview with Marie Claire, the icon shared that she’s currently working on new music, which means we can expect her seventh album that is apparently a “not corny” throwback to the dance-happy days of the Soul Train. We love it already.

And while others (i.e. EVERYONE) might call her an icon (our words), she honestly wasn’t even thinking about it. Realistically, achieving icon status without realizing you’re an icon, is really the mark of a true icon, non?

“I was just going, going, going,” she told the mag. “It wasn’t resonating what was happening. After I did the Super Bowl [in 2015], my friends called me and they are like, ‘So, what you about to do?’ I’m here mopping my floor, and I got to wash the dogs. And they are like, ‘What? You just finished doing the Super Bowl.’ And the same thing happened… I was in the car with Michelle Obama [for ‘Carpool Karaoke’ in 2016], and they called me like, ‘Girl, we got to celebrate; that’s huge!’ And I’m like, ‘I’m watching a movie on Netflix.'”

Okay, but seriously, what we would do to watch literally anything on Netflix with Missy Elliott. Also, a friendly reminder that Missy spent the night before her Super Bowl performance IN THE HOSPITAL.

Apparently now that she’s “slowed down” (so, taken exactly one breath), Missy’s seeing how many leaps, bounds, light-years, millennia she is ahead of the rest of us.

“Now that I’ve had a chance to slow down, I look back at stuff, and I look back at my ‘She’s a B**ch’ video [1999], and at the time I didn’t even think about it. But I look at it now and I’m like, ‘This is still so many years ahead.'” Yeah, girl, duh!

She’s not just ahead of us all musically, she’s doing the real work of carving out a space for and giving a voice to the women and girls who are frequently pushed aside in the industry. As she told Marie Claire, “I am a champion for brown, dark women. If we knew how special we were, we would be unstoppable.” And everyday, she’s proving it.

For all that and more, Missy Elliott is locking down that Vanguard Award. We’re PUMPED for the live performance, but until then, we’ll be listening to the classic Missy oeuvre and “Tempo” (her collab with icon-in-the-making Lizzo).

The 2019 MTV VMAs, hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco, will air live on Monday, August 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Catch the pre-show at 7 p.m. ET, and stream the whole thing live at MTV.ca/VMA