It has now been more than 14 years since the release of The Cookbook, the last proper Missy Elliott album. And yet Missy has been busy in the past few months. She has shown up on Lizzo’s single “Tempo.” She has won the MTV Video Vanguard Award, something she’d been due for years. And she has released the Iconology. When that EP came out, Missy released a comfortingly bugged-out video for the single “Throw It Back.” And today, she’s come out with her clip for “DripDemeanor,” another track from Iconology.
“DripDemeanor” is a collaboration with the generally unknown R&B singer Sum1 — not Sum 41, though that would at least be interesting. But Missy Elliott has been making great songs with mostly-unknown R&B singers for literal decades, so she’s in her comfort zone here. “DripDemeanor” is a sex song, and it has more Sum1 singing than Missy rapping. Missy does, however, use the word “twat,” which I think is a first for her. She’s on her Penthouse Letters shit with this one.
Missy is a true surrealist and almost certainly the greatest music-video artist in the history of the form. So by her standards, the “DripDemeanor” video, which she co-directed with Derek Blanks, is a relatively laid-back affair, more interested in showing off cool choreography than in breaking your brain. But it’s still a Missy Elliott video, so she still spends much of it in a blue wig and shiny black fetish vinyl. And there’s also a part where her hair becomes an entire apartment building. Also, Teyana Taylor reprises her role in the “Throw It Back” video, so this is part of some grander storyline. Watch it below.
Iconology is out now on Goldmind/Atlantic.