Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Janelle Monae is Outta dis World!

So, if I had to pick one person that is in their mid twenties, and who I truly admire, it would be Janelle Monae.  A couple of years ago, I had the wonderful experience of doing make-up for Howard University's Homecoming fashion show, and while the actual experience of doing make-up was not so great, having the opportunity to see Janelle perform live was awesome and life changing.

I was tired and pissed off after dealing with a bunch of ungrateful models and was ready to go home when my friend suggested we go out and see the show.  We did, and Janelle's show was otherworldly.  This teeny person, in this cool uniform with one guitar player that looked like Ike Turner, with the bob wig and all, got on stage and started doing their thing. Monae's voice was a raspy powerhouse that belted out songs with freedom and control all at the same time.  The energy that she exuded in her dancing and connection with the audience was also crazy.  The guitar player was so laid back in his demeanor, his picture should have been posted in the dictionary next to "black coolness".  Of course the young Howard crowd booed them, but they were so good, and so professional, Janelle and her guitar player rocked even harder!  From that moment on, I was a fan!

I went home and googled everything I could about this "new girl that got booed at Howard's Homecoming fashion show".  I learned that I had already heard a few songs by her that I really liked including "Letting Go" which was on Big Boi's Purple Ribbon compilation CD.  She also sang the hook for an Outkast single from their movie "Idlewild".  Fast foward a few years, and she still, in my opinion, has not received the fame and notoriety that she deserves.  She was in this summer's issue of Paper Magazine, and her interview still sold me on why I love her as an artist.  

She is an out of the box thinker who understands that to be great as a  female entertainer you do not have to compromise one bit of who you are. She believes in wearing a uniform(which I think is the dopest thing ever) because it "represents her rejection of chaos".  Her make-up is flawless and fresh faced, and her music while other worldly, literally, is relevant to what is happening in society today.  One of my favorite songs, "Sincerly Jane", speaks to black people who are "caught up" in the everyday struggle of living in their not so great environments.  It talks about her relatives and folks in general who are caught up in the drug game, women who allow themselves to be taken advantage of, and all other people who seem to be just existing or in her terms, "walking dead".

All in all, from her image, to her music, I love this girl, I think that many female artists who want to be seen and heard for who they are, and for what they have to offer the world musically, she sets an excellent example.  She is truly a super hero after my own heart.

To the moon Miss Cindy Mayweather!!!!!!!!

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