Janelle Monae: The new comeback queen
Critics alike were abuzz over the weekend with Janelle Monae's two new music videos.
Gone are the Tightrope days where contemporary R&B musician Janelle Monae was struggling for creative recognition in the music industry. The singer is making a comeback with her latest offering Dirty Computer, a more grounded offering than her previous albums.
Critics were abuzz over the weekend with her two new music videos.
The first, Django Jane, explores a Marrakesh aesthetic while Monae raps about female empowerment.
She reminisces, "Remember when they used to say I look too mannish?" as she celebrates her successes and evolution in fashion and film. In a shout out to the Times Up movement, Monae continues the political rhetoric of her previous albums Electric Lady and Wondaland Presents: The Eephus rapping: "and hit the mute button, let the vagina have a monologue," calling for more women to speak out on taboo topics à la Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologue.
In Make Me Feel, Monae pays homage to Davide Bowie and Prince in the 80s inspired pop track. With neon colours, geometric haircuts and gender fluidity, the video explores Monae's sexuality with For Colored Girls star Tessa Thompson. In a Facebook post, one of Prince's former personal DJs — Lenka Paris — revealed that the late pop star had given Monae the back track. The song is a continuation of sexual freedom since her 2015 hit, Yoga where she labels herself an "emotional sexual bender," as she peruses through a neon basement party.
Monae's delivers a little bit of the old and new with her comeback album, sounds of the eighties and a cool flow with a fresh auto-tune free take on rap. A definite album to watch out for.