Missy Elliott released her newest video for "Throw It Back," as well as a mixtape called Iconology on Thursday night, and you'll have to excuse us, because we need a minute to process it all. There's a lot to unpack in the "Throw It Back" video, which is a technicolor delight of epic hairstyles, slick power suits, and glistening grills — and we'd expect nothing less from Elliot.
The video begins with three young girls walking through an all-white hallway. One of the girls is pushed through an ajar doorway, being called a freak as she falls through it. When the young girl pulls herself up off the floor, Teyana Taylor is standing in front of her, welcoming her to "The Hall of Missy," which appears to be an art gallery featuring paintings of Elliot on the wall, all done in the style of famous artists. And so begins her education in all things Missy Elliott. From here, the song "Throw It Back" kicks off and with it, Elliott — backed by a group of dancers — starts playing out a series of scenarios that involve her long braids being used in a game of Double Dutch and Elliott dancing on the moon dressed as a VMA award. Trust us when we say that's just the beginning.
The music video and lyrics in "Throw It Back" are a not-so-subtle nod to Elliott's incredibly successful career as a trailblazer in the music industry. Our personal favourite is, "I did records for Tweet, before y'all could even Tweet." Given the name of the song, it's not surprising she references a couple of her best known lyrics with the lines "flip it and reverse it" and "Missy still got 'em losing control." It was announced this month that Missy Elliott would finally be the recipient of the Video Vanguard Award at the 35th annual MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 26. The award is a long time coming, since Elliott debuted her "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" music video in 1997 and has been releasing extraordinary music videos ever since.