Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Janelle Monae: I Like this Little Girl Telling Sci Fi Stories in Music

I like the song, the visuals, dance, and storyline in the music video below. Thank you Martin Lindsey for posting this to Facebook. It's the Janelle Monáe "Tightrope" music video featuring Big Boi of OutKast. I'm always happy to learn of new music produced by young people that I can enjoy.

Part of the appeal for me, aside from the lyrics, beat, and dance, is the science fiction flavor. Her new album is called ArchAndroid. She told the Chicago Tribune that she "identifies with androids."
(The album is) a self-empowerment manifesto couched inside a futuristic “emotion-picture” about an android’s battle to overcome oppression. The notion of space travel and “new worlds” becomes a metaphor for breaking the chains that enslave minorities of all types – a theme that has a long tradition in African-American music, from Sun Ra and Parliament-Funkadelic to Cannibal Ox and OutKast.
She also visits the android theme in "Metropolis."

Go, girl, go! My novel includes a subculture of disenfranchised people who practice illegal magic.

Plus this girl, Janelle Monáe, is hot with some Michael Jackson/James Brown old school swagger and skills.

I saw Big Boi on the Martha Stewart Show a while back as I was flipping channels. Thought I was seeing things. Talk about your odd matches, Martha talking about bling and "B-O-I, BTW!" as she said to her audience. Comedy.

Big Boi's released his first solo album, "Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty." Martha asked him if he was breaking up with André 3000. He said, "No."

All the tuxedos in the video also reminded me of the Nicholas Brothers. Here they are dancing Stormy Weather, one of Lena Horne's old films.

Michael Jackson admired them as well. In the clip below he and other Jacksons dance with the tappers, reminding us of all the training that family had.

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