On her sexy third album, rapper/singer Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott uses the drug ecstasy as a metaphor for how she wants her music to seduce the listener. “Take a hit of me,” she invites on the album’s trippy intro.
But the inhibition-freeing effect of the narcotic is also a way of understanding the previously unexpressed, erotic feelings that she taps into on such new songs as her current Middle Eastern-flavored hit “Get Ur Freak On” and the sassy, New Wave-tinged “One Minute Man.” Elliott, who once de-sexualized her body by wearing a blow-up suit in the video for her hit “Supa Dupa Fly (The Rain),” has seemingly lost her self-conscious reserve and is boldly celebrating her libido.
Complementing Elliott’s often racy rhymes are imaginative backing tracks produced by her longtime collaborator Tim “Timbaland” Mosley. The innovative musicman serves up thick, throbbing funk on “Dog in Heat,” featuring rappers Redman and Method Man; giddy hip hop techno on “4 My People” with rapper Eve; and slinky beat-driven balladry on “Take Away,” a steamy duet with R&B crooner Ginuwine.
At the end of the album, on an unlisted bonus track, comes the stirring “I’m Movin’ On,” on which Elliott teams with gospel belters Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary and Karen Clark in order to sing about religious ecstasy. This inclusion, albeit veiled, of an uplifting spiritual tune makes “Miss E” come off not just as a thrillingly lusty high but rather as an intoxicatingly rich opus that celebrates raptures of the body and soul.