Missy Elliott just dropped an EP called Iconology, and it came with a video for “Throw It Back,” one of the project’s five tracks.

The video sees us following a little girl who somehow ends up in a Missy wonderland — with the help of Teyana Taylor. In this wonderland, we get all the choreography and special effects you’d expect from a Missy Elliott video.

The song doesn’t jump at you right away, but before it is over, you will probably find yourself nodding along. It is classic Missy, but something about it feels very current. The bass line will remind you of Drake’s “Nonstop,” except it’s arguably better. Summer would’ve benefited from this song being released a few months earlier, but we’ll take what we can get.

One key observation is that the video shows Missy in the moonman outfit that had been used to promote her upcoming Video Vanguard bestowment at the MTV Video Music Awards. It’s not clear which came first, but it makes you wonder if Missy is receiving the award because MTV wanted to give it to her or if Missy’s team coordinated it. Either way, she deserves it and is long overdue. Watch the video below.

Before there was Britney and Christina, there was Brandy and Monica. They released their debut singles just months apart, they were close in age, and the Venn diagram of their fan bases is essentially a circle. Naturally, there were rumors of a rivalry, so when the two collaborated on a song where they play adversaries, the public ate it up.

In 1997, Brandy co-wrote, co-produced and recorded a song called “The Boy Is Mine.” Yes, this iconic duet was once a solo track. However, after hearing the initial recording, Brandy and one of the song’s co-writers and co-producers, Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins, thought it would sound better as a duet — an idea that is said to have been partly inspired by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s “The Girl Is Mine.”

Phone calls were made and Monica ended up on the track. The song would become the lead single from both singers’ sophomore albums — Never Say Never and The Boy Is Mine — and would go on to become one of the longest-running No. 1 hits in the history of the American charts, spending 13 weeks at the throne.

At the time, the two played nice, but behind the scenes, they were not getting along. There was so much tension that they couldn’t even promote the song together, and the one time they performed it — at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards — Monica put the paws on Brandy during rehearsal. I still have vivid memories of this story being reported.

Of course, both singers denied the incident at the time, but years later, they would eventually come clean during a 2012 interview with Angie Martinez.

In honor of this storied rivalry and in anticipation of the 2019 VMAs, which take place on Monday, let’s revisit the one and only televised performance of this late ’90s classic.

The time has come. Normani has dropped the first single from her solo debut album, and it is an homage to all things early-to-mid 2000s.

First of all, the fact that it is called “Motivation” will have you thinking about Kelly Rowland, but that is not the only Child of Destiny that this will remind you of. The cropped tank top and blue jeans (as well as the hair flip) is so very “Crazy in Love,” and as a matter of fact, the song’s beat is very similar to “Check on It.” If the message isn’t clear, Normani grew up on Destiny’s Child.

The airbrushed outfits and neighborhood dance scenes will have you thinking you were watching 106 & Park in 2005, and fittingly, the video begins with a young Normani dreaming of her video being introduced on the show by Terrence J.

Overall, the song isn’t bad. Not amazing, but good enough to be replayed, and certainly better than a lot of the songs she has put out in the last year. Watch the video below.

Get money all over again, get money all over again.

I often wonder what Mase could have achieved — and what hip-hop would look like — if he stuck it out a little longer. Sure, he staged a lil comeback in 2004, but hip-hop — and popular music as a whole — had moved on. He wasn’t able to recapture the glory of the late ’90s and his 1999 retirement is to blame.

It was abrupt and particularly ill-timed — just a month before the release of the lead single from his sophomore album, which was due in two months. That album, Double Up, was every bit as good as his first LP, Harlem World, and contains songs that I still jam to 20 years later.

One of such songs is track 15, “All I Ever Wanted.” It is so late ’90s in many ways, but it could totally be a hit in 2019. The beat, which is samples Lee Oskar’s “San Francisco Bay,” knocks super hard, and the chorus is one that you can’t help but sing along to.

The chorus is sung by female voices that I long assumed belonged to Total, so imagine my shock when I found out that those layered vocals actually belong to an uncredited Cheri Dennis, who won’t have a single of her own for another six years. The more you know.

“All I Ever Wanted” is the hit that never happened, and a small part of me will always wonder, “what if?”

Just a week after hopping on IG Live to give the people quality content, Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj made good on their promise to collaborate.

“Hot Girl Summer,” which features Ty Dolla $ign, might as well have been titled “City Girl Summer.” Not only does the song include a loop of the opening line of the City Girls'”Act Up,” the song’s hook is also based on that line. I guess the message being sent is that Hot Girls and City Girls are affiliates, which is fair.

“Hot Girl Summer” doesn’t blow you away on the first listen, but it will definitely have you nodding and you will find yourself liking it more with each listen. Nicki Minaj is very much in her bag and will have you wishing she gave us a second verse. Click play.

The year was 2000 and we were at the height of the teen pop era. The demand for young white artists making (mostly shabby) imitations of R&B was simply insatiable. Britney was on fire. Christina was on fire. The Backstreet Boys were on fire.

And of course, there was *NSYNC.

Earlier that year, the group’s sophomore album, No Strings Attached, sold 2.4 million copies in the US in its first week, making it the biggest domestic debut at the time — Adele has since broken that record with 25 (3.4 million). The album’s second single, “It’s Gonna Be Me,” was the first *NSYNC song that I recognized for being a true jam. It was corny in many ways, but it was catchy as hell and JC Chasez was singing his ass off. He is definitely the Florence Ballard of that group.

Written by Andreas Carlsson, Rami Yacoub and the legendary Max Martin, “It’s Gonna Be Me” would become *NSYNC’s first and only No. 1 on the US charts. And in the almost two decades since its release, the song has had something of a rebirth as a yearly meme. Justin’s weird pronunciation of “me” (in a way that sounds like “may”) has made “It’s Gonna Be Me” one of the internet’s markers for the year’s fifth month. What a legacy.

The music video for “It’s Gonna Be Me” was corny even in 2000, but today, it’s like something out of a sketch show. The group’s choreographer and stylist failed them, but it’s all good. The song still slaps.

In case you missed it, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is now the longest-running No. 1 in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with 17 weeks so far. Though impressive, the deployment of a thousand remixes has earned this achievement a much-needed asterisk. The truly iconic don’t need remixes to dominate the charts.

And when I say “the truly iconic,” I’m referring to the likes of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, who now have the second-longest-running No. 1 in the history of the US charts: “One Sweet Day.”

Before I go any further, it’s worth noting that these two acts also have songs that rank as the third-longest-running No. 1s ever: Mariah with “We Belong Together” and Boyz II Men with “I’ll Make Love to You,” both with 14 weeks at the throne. Boyz II Men also have the fourth-longest-running No. 1 of all time: “End of the Road” (13 weeks). When I said iconic, I truly meant it.

“One Sweet Day” came about when Mariah and former writing partner Walter Afanasieff wrote a mournful song inspired by the passing of David Cole of C+C Music Factory, who was Mariah’s friend and collaborator. As they composed the song, Mariah thought it sounded like something that she could hear Boyz II Men singing, so she reached out for a possible collaboration.

Around the same time, Boyz II Men’s road manager had just passed away and Nathan Morris had written a song paying homage to him. When Boyz II Men finally linked up with Mariah and heard the first draft of “One Sweet Day,” they were stunned. The song Nathan had worked on sounded eerily similar to what Mariah played for them. Not only were they both about grief, but the lyrics and chord progressions were similar. The lyrics from Nathan’s version can be heard in the acappella version of “One Sweet Day,” and in the video below, you can actually hear his lyrics over the the instrumentals of the main version.

Mariah and the Boyz essentially merged songs to produce the final result we now know and love. And in a stroke of serendipitous genius, they decided to film the writing and recording session because their tight schedules would’ve made it impossible for them to link up again to shoot an actual video. It is hard to imagine what video treatment could’ve done this song justice, so I’m somewhat glad they never bothered. The studio clips seem just right.

“One Sweet Day” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming just the fourth song to do so and Mariah’s second to accomplish said feat — “Fantasy” had done so just months earlier. In the almost 24 years since its release, the song has remained evergreen and is considered one of the greatest collaborations of all time. No horse in the back can change that.

Today in 1999, Destiny’s Child released its sophomore album, The Writing’s on the Wall. The group, still a quartet, had experienced moderate success with its self-titled debut album, but it was its follow-up that made Destiny’s Child a household name.

The album’s lead single, “Bills, Bills, Bills,” was the group’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by three more singles that were similar in their pro-woman messaging: “Bug A Boo” was all about being badgered by thirsty men; “Say My Name” was about catching a cheater over the phone;  and “Jumpin’ Jumpin'” was a call for women to leave their men at home so they could go party with ballers at the club. City Girls need to pay homage.

The Writing’s on the Wall era gave us songs and videos that have become iconic, but that’s not all that makes that era pivotal for the group. Somewhere between “Bug A Boo” and “Say My Name,” things went left. Two of the original members of Destiny’s Child, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson, accused the group’s manager (and Beyoncé’s father), Mathew Knowles, of favoritism and tried to get a separate manager. As you might know, things didn’t work out them. They were kicked out of the group and replaced by Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin.

LeToya and LaTavia claim that they were dismissed without notice and once told MTV that they found out about their dismissal when the “Say My Name” video premiered. The two ended up suing Beyoncé, Kelly and Mathew, which later resulted in out-of-court settlements.

If you thought the drama ended there, you’d be mistaken. One of the replacements, Farrah Franklin, was kicked out of the group just five months after joining, making Destiny’s Child a trio. While her stay was short, it provided content that is now legendary among fans. If you ever doubted that Beyoncé could be shady or ruthless, some of these videos will quell that doubt.

Destiny’s Child got even bigger after the lineup changes. The Writing’s on the Wall will go on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide, becoming the group’s biggest album. “Say My Name,” the group’s second No. 1 hit, won two Grammys, and since they co-wrote and performed the track, LeToya and LaTavia received golden gramophones. How’s that for a consolation prize?

Picking a favorite track was tougher than expected, but “Bug A Boo” is the winner. Join me in celebrating this classic album.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, it was fairly common for the same sample to appear on different hit songs released just months apart. One example of this is Montell Jordan’s “Get It on Tonite” and Da Brat’s “What’chu Like” (featuring Tyrese), which were released five months apart. Both songs sample Claudja Barry’s “For the Sake of Love,” a disco track from 1976 and another manifestation of disco’s long and glorious legacy. But I digress.

This week’s TBT post focuses on “What’chu Like” because even though “Get It on Tonite” was the bigger hit, I and anyone with taste will tell you that the Da Brat and Tyrese collabo was far superior. Also, I often think about that three-year period where Da Brat swapped the baggy clothes for bikinis and whatnot. It is one of the more drastic image overhauls I can remember and I still wonder if it was her idea or the label’s idea.

“What’chu Like” was the second and final single from Da Brat’s third album, Unrestricted, and her last top 40 hit. Click play and get your life.