You may think you know Janelle Monae, but you really don't. The singer, songwriter, music extraordinaire dazzles on the latest issue of Uptown Magazine and in her sit down, she opens up on a plethora of topics including being a responsible artist, Diddy having her back, misconceptions above her, and more. Check out some of the excerpts below.
On her biggest misconception: People think I am so straitlaced and buttoned up. There is a lot of life underneath this tuxedo. I like to have fun. I enjoy practical jokes. I enjoy rolling around the mall in wheelchairs. I enjoy taking someone’s baby and putting it on my hip for about two hours straight and then giving it back.
On Diddy being her professional slapper: He is the ambassador and protector of the jam. He makes sure that our ideas get out into the world. He is not involved creatively. He is the spokesperson for corporations when it’s time to talk business. When we don’t want to have conversations with suits, he goes in and slaps people for us. He is our highest professional slapper. He slaps anyone that tries to mess up the jam.
On being her social responsibility with your artistry: If I were not a woman, or African-American, or have people in my life that have not been directly discriminated against, then I would not feel a social responsibility. When you love and care about people and you see young people dying, it’s impossible to ignore. Let me be clear: When I speak of androids, I am speaking of the new form of the ‘other.’ You can parallel that to people who are gay or lesbian, those whose skin is considered too dark; women still are not receiving equal rights. I write music that fights against self-hate. It is about loving yourself even if it makes others uncomfortable”
On her unique music & lyrics: I realized that I was over-complicating things at one point. I told myself, “You don’t have to do that.” I was getting the sense that I was talking over people’s heads. Just like Erykah Badu sings, “What good do your words do/If they can’t understand you?”
The October/November issue of Uptown Magazine hits newsstands next week.
Check out some photos below courtesy of Uptown Mag and read the full interview here.