Missy Elliott is back.
The rapper, who hasn’t released a new studio album since 2005’s “The Cookbook,” dropped a surprise EP on Friday morning. At just five tracks, “Iconology” will leave you hungry for more — but it’s a little taste of what we’ve been missing just as Elliott gets ready to receive the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMAs Monday at Prudential Center.
Elliott comes out boasting on “Throw It Back,” reminding you just who she is. “If there’s competition/I put them to shame/Different kind of chick/We are not the same,” she raps over a menacing mid-tempo groove straight out of a sonic otherworld.
But the best line comes later, when Elliott spits, “I did records for Tweet before y’all could even tweet.” Word.
The pace picks up with “Cool Off” — some mindless Missy fun in the club — but at two minutes and change, the song is over before it has a chance to really heat up.
“DripDemeanor,” a sexy slow jam, features a very Tweet-esque Sum1. Meanwhile, “Why I Still Love You” reminds you that Elliott can also sing herself, as she often shifted between rapping and crooning on her albums. This old-school soul ballad also shows you just how much girl of the moment Lizzo owes to Missy. (Check out the a cappella version here for the full doo-wop effect.)
After her recent guest appearances with Lizzo (“Tempo”) and Ariana Grande (“Borderline”), it’s good to have Elliott getting her own special freak on again.