American rapper Missy Elliot is enjoying a great year. She became the first female Hip-Hop performer to be inducted into the well-known Songwriters Hall of Fame and even garnered an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee College of Music. To celebrate, she has released a new five-track EP named ‘Iconology.’
This new disc is her first release since her 2005 platter ‘The Cookbook.’ The ludicrously long-expected and promised project opens strongly with the bouncy, sassy lead-in “Throw It Back.” It comes complete with a memorable mid-tempo groove and funny lyrical asides such as mentions of her former protégé rapper Tweet.
“Cool Off” picks up the tempo with a spare, fast beat and an apropos reference to Jay-Z too. It’s perhaps all too quickly overshadowed by a pair of pieces done with popular collaborator Timbaland. They are the slow jam “Drip Demeanor” and the nearly doo-wop number “Why I Still Love You.”
The former features guest vocalist “Sum 1” (who sounds a tad like Alessia Cara) and some nigh-classic albeit unsubtle Elliott evocations: “I open up my candy shop, my panties drop/ You see what I got/ The strawberries and berries, them chocolates nice/ All in the box.” The latter has a noteworthy slow tempo and somewhat sophisticated vocal arrangement.
In fact, the closing cut is an a cappella remix of the song. To hungry hardcore fans this EP’s little more than an appetizer. Still, in 12 minutes Elliot serves up more stylistically diverse dishes than most artists today have done in a long time.