Missy Elliott reaffirms superstar status with ‘Iconology’ EP, ‘Throw It Back’ music video

The hip-hop icon has returned just days before her Video Vanguard Award honor and performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday to surprise fans with her first new project in 14 years.

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Missy Elliott performs onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola performs onstage during the at Louisiana Superdome

Missy Elliott performs onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola performs onstage during the at Louisiana Superdome.

Getty Images for ESSENCE

Missy Elliott is back — but did she really ever leave?

The hip-hop icon has returned just days before her Video Vanguard Award honor and performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awardson Monday to surprise fans with her first new project since her 2005 album “The Cookbook,” and she wants the world to know that she’s not new to this game.

Yearslong fans already know this, but the veteran artist is back to remind everyone of her icon status with her new five-song EP, “Iconology,” a master class at the schoolof Missy Misdemeanor Elliott.

”Iconology” comes after a handful of singles over the past few years,a recent feature onLizzo’s “Tempo”and a long overdue induction into theSongwriters Hall of Fameas the first female rapper to earn that honor.

Produced by Elliott, Timbaland andWili Hendrix, the project brings back the Missy fans know and love, with booming bass beats that are the perfect backdrop to showcase her lyrical prowess.

On the opening track “Throw It Back,” Elliott is clearly in her bag, and ready towork itunapologetically.

”Missy make up her own rules / Not many can do what I do / So many VMAs that I could live on the moon,” she brags, giving a nod to her upcoming VMAs award.

Missy throws joking jabs at the new school about how long she’s been topping charts and making hit songs:”I did records for Tweet before y’all could even tweet / Y’all be thinkin’ (expletive) sweet / Been hot before you could speak.”

The video for “Throw It Back,” which features a Teyana Taylor cameo, shows Elliott’s unwavering authenticity. She’s celebrating blackness with details like having cheerleaders wavedyed Afros as pom pomsand using braids as jump ropesin the spectacular double dutchsequence. Elliottrolls out her ownredpink carpet, plants her own flag on the moon and stands firmly in the vibrant and colorful worldshe’s created and lived in for decades.

Elliott ends the EP with the standout track (and its a capella version) “Why I Still Love You,”bringingher vocals to the forefront. Sheoscillates between insecurity and a boss attitude amid her questions of why she stays with her lover: “But it don’t matter, boy, how hard I try / You don’t care how I be feelin’ inside / You gon’ make me tell you, “Kiss my (expletive) goodbye.”

Read more at usatoday.com.

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