Janelle Monáe Just Released a New Visual Album!🔥

2년 전

Janelle Monáe has had a big week--dropping a stunning new visual album and boldly coming out as pansexual in an utterly joyful disregard of tired binaries!


The album itself, DIRTY COMPUTER, is a queer sci-fi masterpiece that Monáe is referring to as an "emotion picture” which seems an accurate description considering the emotional punch the piece packs. FYI -- I’ll be sourcing videos to share with you today from Youtube.com.


One of my favorite singles in the new album! PYNCK is a celebration of all things feminine: "Pynk, like the inside of your… baby / Pynk like the tongue that goes down… maybe”


In Dirty Computer Monáe has created a futuristic world in which defunct androids are “cleaned” when they are found to have system viruses or bugs in their programming.

Like Jordan Peele (director of Get Out), Monáe is playing with futurism as a way of commenting on societal issues existing within our society. While it is easy to get lost in the stunning visuals and smooth vocals, don’t forget that every choice Monáe is making intentionally shines a light on narratives that are too often silenced in our country. When she closes the album with Americans she leaves no room for doubt about her message:

“Until women can get equal pay for equal work, this is not my America / Until same gender loving people can be who they are, this is not my America / Until black people can come home from a police stop without being shot in the head, this is not my America”


This isn’t the first time that Monáe has adopted a futuristic aesthetic.

In 2010 in an interview with the Chicago Tribune she said of her work on The Electric Lady and The ArchAndroids:

I chose an android because the android to me represents 'the other' in our society. I can connect to the other, because it has so many parallels to my own life – just by being a female, African-American artist in today's music industry. … Whether you're called weird or different, all those things we do to make people uncomfortable with themselves, I've always tried to break out of those boundaries."


Watch the full DIRTY COMPUTER “emotion picture” below!


DIRTY COMPUTER, released April 72, 2018


On top of dropping this amazing album, Monáe also publicly came out as pansexual.

What does that mean exactly? I think of being pansexual as being a more expansive, inclusive definition of bisexuality. My issue with bisexuality is that it still assumes a gender binary (i.e. being attracted to “men” and “women”). Pansexuality allows a person to be attracted to any human, regardless of their particular gender expression or identity on a spectrum. While Monáe hasn’t limited herself by specifically defining what “pansexuality means to her" in any interviews, she does make it clear in a recent Chicago Tribune article that she aims to make an impact in her community:

I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you. This album is for you. Be proud.


It’s no secret that Monáe has been influenced by other queer idols and master musicians, including Prince (and that influence can be felt, and seen, in Dirty Computer).

Here is what Monáe told NME about Prince's influence in a recent interview:

It was something about watching this black man, I’d never seen a black man express himself like that, and it scared me. You know I don’t know if it was because maybe I hadn’t been comfortable with tapping into my fearlessness…it’s just like you got the sense that he was a free ass motherf*****, right? And I don’t know if I was ready to tap into my free as motherf***** nature, but I think what I love most is that I got the opportunity to get to know the man who everybody looked at as this mysterious, other-worldly being. You know I did get the opportunity to perform onstage with him.


And now, a few recently released singles from DIRTY COMPUTER


I LIKE THAT, released April 23, 2018


A few standout lyrics:

'Cause I'm crazy and I'm sexy then I'm cool
Little rough around the edges, but I keep it smooth
I'm always left of center and that's right where I belong
I'm the random minor note you hear in major songs


MAKE ME FEEL, released February 22, 2018


A few standout lyrics:

It's like I'm powerful with a little bit of tender
An emotional, sexual bender


DJANGO JANE, released February 22, 2018


Let the vagina have a monologue
Mansplaining, I fold em like origami
What's a wave, baby? This a tsunami
For the culture, I kamikaze


I have been a fan of Janelle Monáe since she first started making music in 2010, then really fell in love with the release of The Electric Lady album in 2013.

No matter what, I can count on Monáe to stick to her core values, write highly intelligent lyrics, and to play with groundbreaking visual aesthetics. I have thought for awhile that she is one of the more interesting and important modern artists--and that opinion is sealed after watching DIRTY COMPUTER.

Janells somehow manages to create a sci-fi universe, empower people of all genders, and deliver a brilliant commentary on the world that we live in all in one piece. It’s imaginative, it’s empowering, and it’s critical. It’s hard to do all three of these things at the same time, but Monáe does. If I could give this piece of art a standing ovation I would.


Are you a Monáe fan? What’s your favorite song?!



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YESSSS loved this emotion video so much!! watched it in full last night and thought about making a post on it! haha so glad to see you did!!! it's such a beaut. as a queer woman who doesn't conform to sooo much of society -- basically a dirty computer ;)-- it was a feast for the heart and eyes!! i love PYNK too!! xo

Thank you Lily for intruducing me to Janelle Monáe! I havent heard her songs before, but I love to get to know new artists;)

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Glad you found her through this post, she’s pretty awesome. :)

Thanks @lilyraabe for sharing this. I think it is wonderful we get more people like this who produce great "art" but also are role models for others.

The current times in our Society right now is very disturbing for so many groups of people. And we need to fight through the narrow minded nonsense going on. And bringing people like this to light is such a great thing to help those who are so marginalized right now :)

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Hey @robertandrew thanks so much for stopping by to check this out and comment, I appreciate it! I definitely agree that in light of current times we need more artists to step up as leaders and spread positive, empowering messages.

a very nice and very special album

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Thank you for your support! :)

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Janelle Monae is pretty amazing and I am always (usually) happy to find more pansexuals joining the family!

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Thanks for checking it out, glad it was a relatable and fun read for you. :) See you around!

  ·  2년 전

THIS IS SO AMAZING. I haven't heard her before! This is incredible and I want to spend a lot of time on it, appreciating and replaying. Thanks so much for this post! <3

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You’re so welcome and I’m so thankful that this piece resonated for you! I love her so much and am stoked whenever I get to introduce someone to one of my favorite artists, thanks for stopping by.

I have been listening to this album on repeat since it dropped last week. I love all of it, but especially "Crazy, Classic Life," and "Screwed," and "I Like That." There's so much realness and beauty and power in this whole album, and then I watched the film and was just blown away by the visuals. A couple of the songs really evoke Prince, which I loved. And the video for "Pynk" just tickles the heck out of me. I love this, and I hope everyone will check it out!

I love this as much as I love Beyoncé's Lemonade, and I think the thing I love is the vulnerability. The realness comes from being vulnerable in among all the powerfulness. Like Janelle Monáe's video for..."Many Moons," I think.

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No, it was Cold War. Very powerful:

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I LIKE THAT is sooo good! llistened to it on repeat last night!! :) Yes!! who else are you a fan of in a similar vein? looking for MORE LIKE THIS!

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I'm a terrible judge of genre, and I have really eclectic musical tastes, so I'm not sure if my recommendations will be to your taste, but here's who I've been listening to lately:

  • Seinabo Sey
  • Nahko/Nahko and Medicine for the People (this is one I think you'll like, even if it's not entirely like Janelle Monae)
  • Vienna Teng
  • Frank Ocean
  • The O'Pears
  • Indigo Girls
  • Janet Jackson
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thank you!! i love nahko, indigo girls and have a few names to look up thanks to your comment :) i have eclectic taste too and it's totally the spirit of janelle moane that i like and am attracted to in artists. appreciate you taking the time <3

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No problem! I would say that, of those I listed, Seinabo Sey is most like Janelle Monae in terms of sound and aesthetic:

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thanks! i like this! her voice is powerful!

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Here's another one:

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Okay, last one, I promise! I just adore Seinabo Sey so much...

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Maybe I should take a page from @lilyraabe's book and make a post celebrating my love for Seinabo Sey, lol... 😂

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hahah awesome!!!

also, not sure if this will interest you, but it just crossed my path and totally rocking me!! :

https://annathewise.bandcamp.com/album/the-feminine-act-i

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Are you listening to Erykah Badu?

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Yes, me too! I had to do a ton of writing for work today and this was my soundtrack. I also think it totally holds up to Lemonade and I might even like it a bit more. So may good things happening!

Dang... that song "PYNCK" 💖
Can hardly wait to hear the rest! Thanks for a great music post! 😊

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You’re so welcome, and I know...PYNCK was what drew me in too!