Missy Elliott ready to "Party" again

Sun Jun 8, 2008 4:59pm EDT
 
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By Mariel Concepcion

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Rapper Missy Elliott is gearing up to release her first album in three years. Tentatively titled "Block Party" and due in August, the oft-delayed Atlantic release is the follow-up to 2005's "The Cookbook," which sold a relatively disappointing 645,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Her best-seller is 2002's "Under Construction" which sold 2.1 million copies.

Tracks on the new album, Elliott's seventh, include the drum-heavy "Hip-Hop Don't Die"; the sensual "Milk & Cookies," on which Elliot lightheartedly harmonizes about her capabilities in the bedroom; and first single "Best Best."

To help reintroduce Elliott to the marketplace, Atlantic included two new songs, "Ching-a-Ling" and "Shake Your Pom Pom," on the "Step Up 2 the Streets" soundtrack in March. The tracks, which will be reprised on "Block Party," have already sold a combined 296,000 copies digitally.

Elliott will also release a promotional album in mid-summer, "Fanomenal," which was titled by fans in an online vote and will include exclusive tracks and videos. And, in keeping with the new album title's theme, Elliott will host a couple of block parties around the July 4 and Labor Day weekends.

On a break from finishing up "Block Party," the four-time Grammy winner chatted about her new projects, the state of hip-hop, and her lack of interest in digital downloads and ringtones.

YOU RECENTLY HELD A CONTEST WHERE YOUR FANS WERE ABLE TO SUBMIT TITLES FOR THE UPCOMING ALBUM. HAVE YOU CHOSEN ONE YET?

I actually chose two. I'm releasing a preview to the album in the summer titled "Fanomenal." When I saw all the people that entered the contest, I was overwhelmed. So I'm dedicating that one to my fans because they've rolled with me since day one. I'm still up in the air about the name for the actual album, but for now it's "Block Party." The reason for that is because there are a lot of dance joints on there. It's one of those albums you can play out in the streets.   Continued...

 
<p>File photo shows Missy Elliott at the 4th Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors event in New York October 4, 2007. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>