On Monday night, Missy Elliott is set to receive the Video Vanguard Award at the 2019 VMAs, a show that is probably largely watched by people who weren’t even around for her heyday. Perhaps sensing that, Missy decided to remind everyone about what made her so damn influential in the first place. At midnight on Thursday, Missy dropped a five-track EP called Iconology, as well as a kaleidoscopic new video for the song “Throw it Back.”
It looks like Missy took the song’s title quite literally, as the clip throws it back to peak Missy, with a high-pitched concept featuring elastic back up dancers, tons of surreal imagery, and Missy at the center of it all.
This year has been a tremendous year for me…I am humbled and grateful,” she wrote on Instagram ahead of the midnight release. “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.”
Oh, right. Along with that Vanguard award she’s getting on Monday, Missy also officially became a doctor this year, when she received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in May. During her acceptance speech, Missy talked about the challenges she faced en route to becoming the only female rapper inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Because people will tell you you’re too old, people will tell you it’ll never work.” she said. “You have come too far to quit.”