Missy Misdemeanor Elliott is officially in the house. It’s been 14 years since the groundbreaking musician dropped her hugely influential sixth studio album The Cookbook and now the Grammy winning rapper is finally back with her highly anticipated EP Iconology.
While fans have enjoyed a handful of singles and performances here and there, including Missy’s 2015 appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show with Katy Perry and a cameo on Lizzo’s 2019 single “Tempo,” the writer and producer has largely remained out of the limelight for the past decade. Following a devastating diagnosis with Graves disease, Missy has been privately struggling with her health, but it appears the rapper is now on the mend and feeling fit enough to school every other artist on the charts. We missed y, Missy.
Missy surprised fans by releasing Iconology at midnight on Friday, with the five-track EP reuniting the rapper with Timbaland and producer Wili Hendrix. Teasing the EP on Thursday night, Missy told fans on Twitter “Let’s #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance! Sincerely, Dr. Melissa “Missy” Elliott.” In case you were wondering about the new title, earlier this year Missy became the first female rapper to receive an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music. So yeah, it’s Doctor. Take two bops and call us in the morning.
At midnight tonight I’m dropping a collection of new songs! Let’s #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance! Sincerely, Dr. Melissa “Missy” Elliott #ICONOLOGY pic.twitter.com/rv2eVYGy1J
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 22, 2019
Celebrating the album on social media, Missy wrote on her Instagram account “This year has been a tremendous year for me…I am humbled and grateful. THANK YOU for allowing me to smell the roses. You, my fans, and God are the reason I am here and have celebrated every milestone with me!”
In addition to the new EP, Missy also dropped a music video for “Throw It Back,” with both the visuals and lyrics filled with Elliott’s quintessential knack for over-the-top imagery and innovative word play. The singer uses her hair as skipping ropes, is carried in a car with no hood, and literally snatches the wigs off her backup dancers.
Elliott’s lyrics have also never been sharper, with Missy even tying in her upcoming role as the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at Monday’s MTV VMAs. Posing as one of the music channel’s famous Moon Men awards, Missy raps “So many VMAs that I could live on the moon.” It’s 15 VMAs, to be exact, so yeah, she could comfortably live on the moon.
Showcasing her undeniable talent for breathing a fresh sound into everything she touches while still keeping her music uniquely Missy-sounding, Elliott’s new track feels very 2019 while also harkening back to older work, with longtime fans loving lines like “Watch me flip it, reverse it / Flip it and reverse it, stupid with the verses.” Let her work it.
Watch Missy Elliott along with Taylor Swift, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, Jonas Brothers, Normani and more perform at the 2019 MTV VMAs, hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco, 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.