It makes sense that Janelle Monae doesn’t recognized the normal barrier of time and space and considers herself an otherwordly spirit. Her music and style transcend normal boundaries to transport the listener to a different head space. Or, if we were considering a more earthly plane, Monae could very well be the result of the musical offspring of Prince and Erykah Badu. She’s actually has both as guest stars on her latest release The Electric Lady.
The 29-year-old Kansas City, Kansas native has touched upon futuristic themes and concepts in her work, but her music is grounded in funk, soul, hip-hop, R&B and more. It’s as though she’s arrayed the forces of the universe in her favor and brought forth a new hope for the future of Black music – one that is expansive, inclusive and rich in musical history yet innovative and contemporary.
The Electric Lady represents a future of music that exists around ideas and talent, not the sex and gossip that permeates it now. In her artistry and willingness to forge her own unique musical pathway, Monae has expanded the limits of what it means to be a Black female artist in this century and beyond.
“Primetime” (with Miguel)
#Forward20: Janelle Monae Is An Intergalactic Musical Force was originally published on blackamericaweb.com