I’m a Janelle Monae super fan. I cry every time I hear “57821,” and I can scream every lyric to “Hell You Talmbout.” So naturally I was elated when she announced the new album Dirty Computer. The new album is slated to take on a more personal tone as opposed to a direct continuation of her ongoing Cindi Maeweather story.
She recently released two singles from the album, with impressive videos to accompany them: “Django Jane” and “Make Me Feel.”
I screamed the first time I heard “Django Jane,” especially when I realized about a minute into the song that Monae was not going to sing. I’ve been addicted to Monae’s bars since the Lupe Fiasco and B.o.B. remix of “Tightrope,” and they are on display in full effect here. The track shows a more assertive side to Monae with lyrics that address all the haters, and highlight her overall unquestionable greatness with lyrics like “Runnin’ outta space in my damn bandwagon / Remember when they used to say I look too mannish / Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it.” The visuals in the music video match the vibe of the song with dark lighting, all female backup dancers dressed like Black Panthers, and Monae herself dressed like the Queen of Wakanda in chic, colorful suits.
“Make Me Feel” showcases a more sultry side of Monae. The song was partially written by Prince; a friend and mentor to Monae, he was helping her work on Dirty Computer before his passing, and this track also serves as a sort of homage to him, even in the slick, neon visuals for the music video. The video features Monae and friend Tessa Thompson in all their Black Girl Magic, making their way into a 80s night club to flirt and dance the night away. The song features tongue-in-cheek references to her rumored bisexuality with lyrics like “It’s like I’m powerful with a little bit of tender / An emotional, sexual bender.”
The album hasn’t dropped yet, neither have any Philly tour dates…or other song titles for that matter. But we’ve been blasting “Make Me Feel” here on WXPN all the same. I don’t know about you, but I will be stalking all of Janelle Monae’s social media for further updates and pre-ordering the album.
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