“If she the G.O.A.T. now, would anybody doubt it?,” Janelle Monáe asks on “Django Jane” off her newly released album Dirty Computer. Here’s my response: “If anyone does doubt it, they’re just hating.”
Unlike her previous works (The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady), Monáe gets bolder and louder on this non-conforming, vulnerable LP. She takes on the responsibility of addressing social injustices and personal afflictions that affect beings in today’s world.
From sexism and racism to identity crisis and self-confidence, Monáe uses Dirty Computer and its accompanying emotion picture to give those facing inequality and intolerance a glimmer of hope to shine through life’s uncomfortable moments.
As we relish in Monáe’s brilliance and the social relevance of Dirty Computer, we uncover some personal and universal revelations featured on this album.
“Crazy, Classic, Life”
Are you able to freely and unapologetically live your best life? While some may, many don’t. If the latter group could, the price to pay wouldn’t be so damn high.
Even though Monae sings, “I don’t wanna be let down / I don’t wanna waste my youth,” many of us do. It happens because we are ashamed of the public scrutiny that may (usually) come with existing outside of social norms (i.e. heterosexual monogamous, working a typical 9-to-5 job, etc.).
The sooner we realize we have the power within ourselves to unchain the unpopular opinions of others that has our mind held captive, the better off we’ll be; the better relationships we’ll maintain; the better environment we’ll conform to; and the better life we’ll live.
Ever heard the ultra-masculine saying, “real men wear pink”? There’s no right or wrong answer to this demasculinizing statement. According to Monáe (and the human body), that’s where life is started.
Albeit pink isn’t where life ends, it should be treated with respect and dignity while we are living and breathing in our earthly bodies. Whether that means men holding women to an equal standard in the workplace rather than object who can have their parts (yes, pussy) grabbed at any time. Or better yet, remember that pink is a part of our human composition everywhere. You don’t have the right to harm any creation living under the sun.
Like Monáe said, “PYNK is the color that unites us all.”
“I Like That”
We’re individuals for a reason. We all have lots to offer and that includes different tastes. We share our distinctive likes and dislikes, personal opinions and preferences to express our originality — not be called “weird” or ostracized for being who WE are.
Don’t kill my vibe if doesn’t disturb yours — and most times it isn’t.
By a show of hands: Who else was under impression that the Constitution was designed to give all Americans basic rights? Although your hands may be high, over the past decade, this belief seems to be fading further away from the fiber of this nation.
With reports of police brutality among African Americans more common and being taken lightly by lawmakers and women unequal pay in the workplace, it appears all hope is gone.
Until we can recognize all human beings deserve equal rights — no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation or religion — “this is not our America.”
“Screwed” feat. Zoë Kravitz
When the 2016 presidential election ballot named an “orange figurine” as our POTUS, many of us were saying “we’re screwed.”
As soon as we turn on our televisions or open social apps on our smartphones, breaking news about the possibilities of birth control ending, nuclear war and a wall being built, has quite a few people dwelling in more misery than bliss.
Although the 2020 U.S. presidential election seems close, it’s still so far away. But this isn’t the only voting process that matters. Find out when statewide and local elections take place. Know who’s running for office. Research their previous efforts and background and exercise your right to vote. These elections can make a huge impact in us remaining “screwed” short or long term.
Stream Dirty Computer below.
Watch Monáe’s Dirty Computer emotion picture.
Follow An’Twane on Twitter at @9thwonderofPR.