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Missy Misdemeanor Elliott: Miss E ...So Addictive

Album: Miss E ...So Addictive
Label: Elektra

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Arriving with the force of a pop-culture meteor, 1997's Supa Dupa Fly introduced the world to two figures who would change both the face and the sound of R&B and hip-hop: multitalented singer-songwriter-rapper Missy Elliott and groundbreaking producer Timbaland. With her unconventional look, defiant lyrics, and flair for constant reinvention, Elliott expanded the boundaries of what women could do and be in hip-hop, while Timbaland's fearless production spawned imitators and earned him jobs producing everyone from Beck to Snoop Dogg to Nas. Dark and uncompromising, 1999's Da Real World seemed in many ways like a response to Supa Dupa Fly's success, as Elliott took the male gender to task for its deficiencies. Where Da Real World was all about the war of the sexes, Elliott's new Miss E ...So Addictive is the sound of that war collapsing into a gleeful pool of bodily fluids and mind-altering chemicals. Where Timbaland and Elliott's previous work drew its musical and lyrical cues from marijuana, So Addictive sounds and feels like an album-length tribute to the giddy, overtly sexual pleasures of ecstasy. "Get Ur Freak On," the first single, and "Lick Shots" find Elliott spitting high-impact braggadocio over minimalist beats, but much of the album's remainder deals with the euphoric lustiness associated with the world's favorite club drug. Though So Addictive occasionally dabbles in darker subject matter, Elliott sounds more relaxed and comfortable than she has in a while. Having found success in so many areas, Elliott has little left to prove, and So Addictive is a superbly unforced, dance-floor-friendly album that could only come from someone content with her place in life. Like its predecessors, the disc drags in spots but generally delivers, proving that emotionally and artistically, contentment suits Elliott just fine.