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Janelle Monae shows truly authentic self in new album

Defying conformity, Janelle Monae brings a truly magical sense of self to “dirty Computer”, making for her best musical conquest; her third studio album is truly the assemblance of the artistic soul that has only been hinted in in last two albums.  

Theres is no question that Monae is a true talent. Along with being a singer she also is an actress with roles in Hidden Figures and Moonlight, a record label head, and a writer/producer with 6 grammy nominations.  

Throughout this album winds a mix of funk/pop and R&B that evokes sounds of Jimi Hendrix as well as a modern blend of sci-fi, electric … and … “Dirty Computer,” signals a new era in her career as she presents herself to the public in a new way as she celebrates her culture as well as her identity as a woman and a member of the LGBT community.

“I dedicate a lot of my music to Prince, for everything he’s done for music and black people and women and men, for those who have something to say and also at the same time will not allow society to take the dirt off of them. It’s about that dirt, and not getting rid of that dirt,” Monae said in an interview with newspaper The Guardian.

“Dirty Computer” is split up into three categories the reconging , discovery, and celebration and acceptance.

“The first songs deal with realizing that this is how society sees me,” she said. “This is how I’m viewed. I’m a ‘dirty computer,’ it’s clear. I’m going to be pushed to the margins, outside margins, of the world.” Track six, “D’Jango Jane” serves as an ode to black power and pride that also serves as a elegy to the struggles that go along with that.

“It’s like, O.K., these are the cards I’ve been dealt,” she said.

Songs such as “Pynk” and “Make Me Feel” act as a more pop centered anthems for letting loose and letting go.

The album then ends with the song “Americans”, with lyrics like “love me for who I am,” and “cross my heart and hope to die, I’m a big old piece of American pie” she calls america out for its past misgresions against women, African Americans and current political policies.

Throughout this album comes allusion and flat call outs to specific people in the national spotlight. Monae calls this album, “a response to me feeling the sting of the threats being made to my rights as a woman, as a black woman, as a sexually liberated woman, even just as a daughter with parents who have been oppressed for many decades. Black women and those who have been the ‘other’, and the marginalised in society – that’s who I wanted to support, and that was more important than my discomfort about speaking out.”

Overall this album is a truly exceptional. Both in musicality and message Monae puts everything she has into this album. This effort and experience shows throughout the tracks making it a true standout of 2018

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