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Hip-hop legend Missy Elliott makes a comeback with “Iconology”
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Written By Bernedette Steele
Easthoustonkingfiam
With her infectious rhythm and flow, Missy “MisDemeanor” Elliott has returned to the classroom to educate a new generation of listeners on the true meaning of excellence as an emcee, entertainer and all around musical legend. At midnight on Aug. 23, the American hip-hop queen dropped a surprise and fittingly titled E.P., “Iconology”. The short E.P. leaves long-time fans wanting more. After all, fifteen minutes is way too brief for a welcome home party that has been in the making for over fourteen years. The title “Iconology,” perfectly sums up this short project. Each of the five songs have an emotional quality that is reminiscent of the legend’s extraordinary anthology. The record takes Missy Elliott’s iconic sound, and shows a glimpse of what she’s been experiencing in life since her 2005 album “The Cookbook.” By recreating her anthology into a bite-sized project, Eliott is reminding the world of her revolutionary lines and tones, and the individuality that she’s stood for throughout her whole career. Elliott can be described as the greatest female artist this era has seen, with current artists such as Lizzo and Cardi B naming her as one of their biggest inspirations. What sets Elliott apart from artists in a male-dominated industry, is her ability to embrace and lift up other female artists. With a strong foundation of empowerment, Missy Elliott’s musical sound is energetic and encouraging, like a friend everybody wants to have around. She brings life to every party, infusing her zealous and risk-taking behavior into every song she performs. Her unique syntax and flow delivers lyrics that can embolden every listener to be confident and thick-skinned, while also flaunting their authentic sexual self. Like a modern day Midas, it should come as no surprise that Missy Elliott’s latest project, “Iconology,” is yet another piece of gold. “Throw It Back” is a perfect example of Missy’s typical style as it makes most people instantly want to dance. In this opening track, Missy perfectly blends her unique timber with today’s modern sound of hip-hop. With many lyrical references to older hits such as “Work It” and “Lose Control”, this track is definitely a bop. With lyrics like, “So many VMAs that I could live on the moon” and “I raised all these babies, call me Katherine Jackson,” Elliott is reminding a new generation of artists that she has paved the way for their success and has “been hot before you could speak.” The second track, “Cool Off” features a contagious and repetitious cadence. Elliott repeats “do it,” “get it” and once again got listeners to make “it go up and down, round and round like a ceiling fan.” Like the opening track, this song feature various lines that reference her older tracks like “Lose Control” and “The Rain” when she spits, “Cool off ‘til I feel the wind. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.” These two opening tracks portray Missy Elliott’s distinctive way of energizing listeners, however the following three tracks pay tribute to Eliott’s more sensual and classic R&B style. When taking a trip to the bedroom and jumping into silky sheets, make sure “DripDemeanor” is playing softly in the background. Perfect for any bedroom playlist, this song is an anthem for self-love and a strict statement to any potential lovers that Elliott knows her value too much to sit around and play childish games. Featuring Sum1’s sensual R&B vocals, this track references “Goodies” and is reminiscent of the “Under Construction” track “Pussycat.” Missy portrays her characteristic quality of self-confidence and elegance with lines like “You better stop, ‘cause I am the cream of the crop” and “Boy you don’t try to play stick, ’cause Missy not chasin’ your d—”. The fourth song “Why I Still Love You,” is the perfect song to mull one’s feelings over. Painting a beautiful and dreamy image similar to the ‘50s, this song features a theme of continuously returning to past loves, until stopping and asking “Why the hell I still love you?” With a nostalgic doo-wop bounce, this song can be described as the slow, thought-provoking song of the album. In the outro to this song, Missy lists out everything she is feeling and doing while repeating “I’m gon’ be alright,” showing that despite relationships not working out, it is going to be alright. The final sound, which is a sample of a closed door, perfectly replicates the empty feeling listeners are left with when this record ends just as quickly as it begins. The last song on the E.P. is an acapella version of “Why I Still Love You”, and while it showcases Elliott’s vocal talent, it falls flat in comparison to the rest of the record. Acapella tracks can be hidden musical treasures, but this acapella version sounds as if the lead and background vocals from the original song, with the vocal filters among other things, were just separated and inserted into a new project. Regardless of the last track falling short of expectations, “Iconology” is a perfect reminder for generations to come that Missy “MisDemeanor” Elliott is one of the most important and talented emcees of this era.
Easthoustonkingfiam

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