Over the past 22 years, Missy Elliott has remained a fixture in the music video space — no easy task in the volatile terrain of an ever-changing industry. Her visuals, especially those created in partnership with directors Hype Williams and Dave Meyers, are iconic. On Monday (August 26), she'll finally be honored for her vision as this year's Video Vanguard Award recipient at the 2019 VMAs.
And to keep the excitement going until then, Missy dropped a new EP on Friday fittingly titled Iconology. Its kickoff track, "Throw It Back," finds her imperial voice leading while keeping the mood effortlessly cool as always. That's on full display in the color-shifting new video that accompanies it, featuring Teyana Taylor, another talented visionary, as a guide to a museum dedicated to all things Missy. It's about time such a place existed.
In the clip, Missy stands in the center bedecked in a pink suit, leading a crew of dancers and seeming commanding certain spells. She changes the colors of the world around her. She uses her long braids as jumprope for a group of girls. And before long, she's (rightfully) being charioted around with a glass of brown liquor in hand.
Because it's a Missy Elliott enterprise, there are enough costume and set change-ups to keep you on your toes and to convey an endless array of moods. It's tempting to call all of it — vivid colors, head-spinning choreography, eye-bulging outfits — a buffet of Instagram fodder. But Missy essentially invented the IG aesthetic. She's just reclaiming it.
Missy shared her jubilant mood on the eve of releasing her new Iconology EP on Twitter: "Let's #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance!" At the end of the "Throw It Back" video, she's literally dancing on the moon with a flag bearing a familiar logo, though one she's made entirely her own — an overt nod to her impending trophy acceptance at the VMAs.
Watch all the wonderful madness go down in the "Throw It Back" video above, and tune in to the 2019 VMAs live from The Prudential Center on Monday, August 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT to see Missy's explosive Video Vanguard performance!