One of My Favorites….Janelle Monae

I am elated to hear new music from Janelle Monae.  Listen to her two new tracks (Tightrope featuring Big Boi and Cold War)  at her website.  And to top it off, she’ll be at the Black Cat (D.C) on March 15th.  Guess who will be in the front row? 🙂

On May 18th, she will release her a forthcoming album  entitled the ArchAndroid, which is a follow-up to Metropolis Suite I of IV.  You can read more about her new music on her blog.

I had the pleasure to see her perform last year.   I didn’t know what to expect, but she blew me away!  She’s a petite woman, but her performance was mighty.  Her energy is totally “on 10”, and I loved her dance moves.  Her moves remind me of a bumbling soldier with salutes, spins and high kicks that stay on beat.  She sings with wide eyes and animated facial expressions.  By the end of the performance, she is in total disarray from tugging and pulling on her hair and clothing.  The lead guitarist was also on point working the strings (and wig and black nail polish, I might add).  It was a performance I’ve never seen, but totally LOVED.

I was cheesy and she was sexy. 🙂
The best thing about Janelle Monae is that she actually has something to say.  She uses her creativity to help the medicine go down so to speak.  One of my favorite songs,  “Sincerely Jane” is a social commentary about the contradictions she sees all around her.

“I’ve seen them shootin’ up funerals in they Sunday clothes
Spending money on spinners but won’t pay college loans
And all you gangers and bangers rollin’ dice and taking lives, in a smokey dark
Lord have mercy on you
Teacher, teacher please reach those girls in them videos
The little girls just broken Queen, confusing bling for soul
Danger, there’s danger when you take off your clothes, all your dreams go down the drain girl”

Not all of her songs have a “social” message.  Yet, she has an opinion, and she isn’t afraid to express it.  She could easily go the mainstream route with her beautiful voice and gorgeous looks (you can get a glimpse of her mainstream potential versatility with her song “Lettin’ Go” on Big Boi presents Got Purp? Vol.2).  Instead,  she dons a pompadour, saddles shoes, cumberbund and bow tie with flair.   I would like to ask her what’s the symbolic meaning behind all of it, but I might be looking too deep. 🙂

After her performance, I spoke to her briefly and I found out that she was under Bad Boy Entertainment.  I was horrified.  I, mean, for whatever reason, Bad Boy artists/artists affiliated with Diddy don’t seem to have very long careers.  The only exception I know of is Mary J. Blige, and part of that is due to her leaving.  However, she reassured me that she was maintaining her vision and artistic control.   So far, so good.

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s