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Meek Mill reigns, Janelle Monae dazzles, Orion Sun and Armani White rep Philly at Made In America Day One

Meek Mill at Made In America | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Grey skies hugged the city of Philadelphia earlier in the day before the sun peeked out from the clouds, sending relief to everyone at Made in America who was geared up for the possibility of rain. From there, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was flooded with people from all walks of life, ready to dance and party ’til dusk. From amazing early sets by local artists Armani White and Orion Sun, to incredible performances from Sabrina Claudio and Saba, a massive throw-down from Janelle Monae and a tremendous homecoming from rapper Meek Mill, the first day of the festival was a blast. Continue reading →

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Janelle Monae gives us a sneak peak of her prep for the Dirty Computer Tour

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae | still from video

Janelle Monáe is back with her third album, Dirty Computer, and a top-billed slot on the Made In America festival in September. Now the pop goddess has gifted us with a short video showcasing her prep for the tour. The one-minute teaser begins with her leading track “Dirty Computer”, featuring Brian Wilson, playing in the background. The video then fades into a variety of clips of the crew and her at work. In every shot, Monáe is of course dressed to the nines, working hard and killin’ it. Even though the video is only a minute long, it’s enough to get you excited for what is to come. Continue reading →

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Janelle Monae, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Miguel top Made in America lineup

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae | still from video

The Made in America lineup is finally here, and this year, the highly-anticipated annual festival will bring a diverse, dozens-strong roster of artists to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The festival will take place September 1 and 2 — just about 90 days away, not that we’re counting.

Up in the top headlining slots are rappers Nicki Minaj and Post Malone, but this is the kind of festival lineup that merits more than a glance at the smaller print. Some of the standouts include the eclectic and awesome Janelle Monáe, fresh off the release of her new album Dirty Computer, as well as R&B star Miguel, and pop singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. Meek Mill, who has become somewhat of a hometown hero lately, will also appear for what is sure to be a triumphant set. Continue reading →

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Janelle Monae drops an empowering fourth single from Dirty Computer

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae | still from video

Janelle Monae continues to bless us with material from her upcoming album Dirty Computer. Yesterday she dropped another amazing single called “I Like That,” a song following in the vein of the other Dirty Computer singles we’ve seen so far, in that these songs are more personal than her past work. This is a song about Janelle Monae Robinson, not her character Cindi Mayweather which has been the protagonist of the story told in her previous albums. In the song, Monae explores the multiplicity of man and the dynamics of her personality, accepting herself for who she is with lyrics like “I’m the random minor note you hear in major songs / And I like that.” Continue reading →

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Janelle Monae’s dazzling videos for “Django Jane” and “Make Me Feel” have us hyped for Dirty Computer

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae | still from video

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.” Continue reading →

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New Music Show Preview with Jack White, Janelle Monae and more!

Photo by Marc Baptise
Photo by Marc Baptise

 

Monday nights mean New Music Discovery on XPN! As we all do our best to hold on to summer, I’ve got some tunes that’ll sound great coming out of your car speakers. We’ll hear a new synth-rock band from Oakland called Waterstrider (one of my new favs), a Philly favorite, Shark Tape, channel The Replacements, and Bon Iver lending his one-of-a-kind vocals to an infectious new song from Francis & The Lights.  Two hours of new music starts at 8pm tonight, here’s a sample of what else we’ll spin…

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Janelle Monae offers up something new and something old (playing Roots Picnic in May)

Photo by Marc Baptise
Photo by Marc Baptise

R&B singer Janelle Monae, recently announced as part of this year’s Roots Picnic lineup has shared a couple new songs, one of which is a cover of Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible.” Monae covered the Robert Palmer classic as part of E!’s Live From the Red Carpet coverage of the Academy Awards, and puts a fresh funky spin on the 80’s song.

The “new” new song that Monae has released is “What Is Love,” from the forthcoming Rio 2 soundtrack. The song grabs a little bit of Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Starting Something” rhythmic stutter and tosses in some island dance grooves. Listen to it below.

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Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monae, The War on Drugs and Chill Moody top The Roots 7th annual Roots Picnic lineup

Now in its 7th year, The Roots Picinic will bring an eclectic array of music to Festival Pier on May 31, and the band today revealed everything you need to know about this year’s installment.

The year the legendary hip-hop crew will share the stage with Snoop Dogg (backed by The Roots), as well as Janelle Monáe, Action Bronson, A$AP Ferg, araabMUZIK, The War On Drugs, Rudimental, Jhené Aiko, Biz Markie (DJ Set), Bad Rabbits, Electric Wire Hustle, Chill Moody, Emily Wells, Roman GianArthur & more.

Get tickets when they go onsale this Friday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster and watch a few of the latest clips from acts on this year’s incredible lineup below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Janelle Monae at the Electric Factory, Colin Hay at Keswick Theatre, Deltron 3030 at the TLA and more

monae
Retro starlet Janelle Monae will grace the Electric Factory stage tonight. Monae released her critically acclaimed third album, The Electric Lady, last month. Despite her old-school flare, there’s nothing dated about Monae’s music. She’ll make you want to dance (“Q.U.E.E.N.”, “Dance Apocalyptica”) and be seduced (“Primetime” featuring R&B crooner Miguel). Check out her new “emotion picture” for the latter below. Get tickets here.

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