Missy Elliott has been on the comeback trail for years, beginning with a guest spot during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show way back in 2015, at which point she was about a decade past her most recent album, 2005’s The Cookbook. Despite a strong comeback single later that year, a new album never materialized. But this year things have really seemed to be picking up, albeit mostly in a lifetime achievement capacity.
Missy Misdemeanor was featured on Lizzo’s great “Tempo.” She became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Berklee awarded her an honorary doctorate. And just last week we learned she’d receive the Video Vanguard award at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. (MTV is setting up a popup museum ahead of the show, for which tickets sold out in 60 seconds.)
Now, with the VMAs coming up this Monday, Elliott has released her first collection of new music in 14 years, an EP called Iconology. Given that it’s only five tracks long — really four plus an a cappella — it’s unclear if this is what she was talking about back in April when she teased “a long project I been working on since last year.” However you want to classify it, a set of new Missy bangers is welcome.
Elliott posted a more elaborate explanation on Instagram:
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! So, I have a SURPRISE for you… let’s continue the celebration 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
Elliott produced the new songs with Timbaland and Wili Hendrix. The EP’s only guest is Sum 1 (not to be confused with Sum 41) on “DripDemeanor.” There’s also a video for lead single “Throw It Back” featuring Teyana Taylor. Stream Iconology and watch the video below.