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Below, Vulture pieces together what Missy has been up to in the meantime, from her well-loved VH1 Inside the Music special to last night’s stellar return to form.
2005In January, Missy launched The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott, a UPN singing competition that offered 13 contestants — all rising singers or emcees — the chance for a record contract and professional mentorship.
Later she does some light gymnastics, which led to a torn Achilles tendon. In conjunction with the album, she re-created one of her most iconic music videos, “The Rain,” at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
2007At VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, performers like Keyshia Cole, Eve, Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Ciara joined forces to pay tribute to Missy’s legacy with a medley as the woman of honor happily danced along in the wings.
2006That April, Missy dropped the music video for Cookbook single “We Run This” in partnership with Disney, who’d selected the song as the theme to that year’s Disney Channel Original Movie Stick It.
In the video, Missy dresses in a gold-lamé bandleader costume, gets animated as a stick figure, and raps in a patois. E., a greatest-hits compilation that was supposed to feature two new tracks — “123” and “Magnifica” — that never arrived.
At last night’s BET Awards, opening act Pharrell Williams brought out Missy Elliott for a show-stopping mash-up of his “Come Get It Bae” and her 2003 hit “Pass That Dutch.” Coincidentally, next month marks nine long years since Missy, one of rap’s most acclaimed performers, released her most recent solo album, The Cookbook.In the time since that record’s release, there have been plenty of indications that Elliott’s follow-up was soon to come, but fans have yet to see anything tangible.