On February 16, the same day as the highly anticipated Marvel’s Black Panther released to theaters, Janelle Monáe decided to further bless us with the “emotion picture” trailer release to her highly-anticipated album, Dirty Computer.
Monáe has always seemed to fit into any genre or sound she’s creating, which is further proven with the release of her two new songs “Django Jane” and “Make Me Feel.”
“Django Jane” essentially is about women empowerment and Monáe’s journey with herself and as an artist, all rapped over a strong hip-hop beat. Approximately 60 bars without a single chorus, a much different style we’re not used to seeing from the artist.
“Make Me Feel” holds a funkier tune, a song with an important message you can definitely dance to. The song has been deemed a “bisexual anthem,” as Monáe sings lyrics of sexual liberation and refusing to label herself. The style of this song is something all music fans will find nostalgic and familiar.
Janelle Monáe, protégé and close friend of the late Prince, reported during a previous interview with BBC Radio the late, great artist was helping her with the new album before his untimely death. The funky beat and futuristic sounds of “Make Me Feel” were none other than the workings of Prince himself. For those unaware, Prince was featured on one of her songs on her 2013 Electric Lady album. Monáe has always expressed how influenced she was her mentor, and never wavered on the gratitude she has towards him.
Both songs show a growth with the artist, and the contrast of both songs shows Monáe’s capability to be fluid and still have a style all her own. The release of these two songs helps further anticipate what the rest of the album will bring. Dirty Computer is said to be released mid-April.
It has been five years since her last album Electric Lady, and throughout her career, Monáe has proven her creativity and versatility with her music. Since the release of her first EP, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), Monáe has incorporated sounds of jazz, classical, funk and techno while telling a thrilling futuristic sci-fi story.
Through her discography, Monáe’s alter-ego Cindi Mayweather, an android who is familiar with the unfairness of in this futuristic society, has taken precedence. Monáe has always been a carefree spirit, not letting gender roles or labels define her or her music. So, it is no surprise her music reflects her true self — she continues to defy the odds, empower and remain “undefinable.”
By: Glyniss Wiggins