NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10:  Rapper Missy Elliott attend the Diesel Fall 2005 show during Olympus Fashion Week at Hammerstein Bal
Brad Barket

After seven years of near-silence, the Queen of Hip-Hop Missy Elliott returns this June with a new album entitled Block Party. This joyous news comes courtesy of her longtime collaborator and friend Timbaland, who informed MTV he, too, has a solo album set to drop this summer.

“Right now, we're preparing to get both our videos, our first singles, shot kinda at the same time," Timbaland said. “We want to do it as a movement and spontaneously." A spontaneously prepared movement? Now there’s a brainteaser.

But back to Missy. Once one of the most innovative, prolific talents in hip-hop (and pop music in general), why has she been dormant for so long? An easy explanation would be her health. Last summer, Elliott revealed that she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease, in 2008.

But Elliott herself dismisses that notion: “It it really hasn't slowed me down at all,” she insisted in a statement. Still, this seventh album has been planned, scrapped and delayed since late 2007.

If her struggle with Graves’ isn’t to blame, it’s hard to say why Missy took such a long hiatus from releasing her own music.

At the dawn of the new millennium, it seemed like Missy was at the forefront of Top 40 music—not chasing or even making trends, but following her own idiosyncratic muse to create an inimitable but enviable string of genre-bending hits.Heck, she had M.I.A. guest on her 2005 album, and that was well-before the rapper/singer had moved past Internet niche fame.

Whatever the reason for this unnaturally long wait, here’s hoping Missy’s seventh finds her in full possession of her wild talents and continues her so-far flawless track record.