4 Times Janelle Monáe Proved (Again) That She’s a Bauce

janelle-monae-headshotJanelle Monáe has been consistently killing the game since she emerged on the scene in 2010. But, 2015 has been the year for her to redefine her brand, expand her reach, and mature in her musical presence. And, frankly, she is making us love her even more.

1. In Feb 2015, Monáe launched Wondaland Records as a joint venture with Epic Records

Monáe has been clear that this move is meant to make music which is attune to the issues facing diverse Black communities across the country and world.

Monáe had this to say about her groundbreaking record label.

“I’m so thrilled to share Wondaland Records with the world. Each artist under Wondaland Records has unparalleled talent, incredible vision, and brings something unique to the music industry. Together, we’re creating a new movement and space for the future of music and pop culture.”

Her artists, Jidenna, Deep Cotton, Roman GianArthur, and St. Beauty, have already been wowing audiences with their live performances. The consensus both in and out of the industry is that Monáe’s leadership of such a strong roster of singers, musicians, producers, and writers will reverberate in the industry for many years to come.

2. Ms. Monáe released the “Yoga” video and gave no fucks how people felt about it

Janelle Monáe is a grown ass woman. If that wasn’t clear before, it became crystal clear when she released her sexy single and video for her song “Yoga,” featuring Jidenna. Another visually empowering video with her gorgeous friends and body on fleek, the video is not just a club hit. It is her continued “Fuck you” to critics and anyone seeking to delimit Monáe’s person/woman/liveli/hood.

My favorite line from the song is: “You cannot police me so get off my areola. Get off my areola.” Just saying. Get off mine too.

3. Monáe released a protest song called “Hell You Talmbout” in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement

Consistent with the words she speaks, Ms. Monáe and the entire Wondaland Records crew have been leading protests against police brutality in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

On Monday, she told a crowd of 200 protestors in Chicago, ““We don’t come here as artists, as celebrities. We come here as people.” What more could we ask for?

This came just after she debuted the song “Hell You Talmbout” featuring her entire Wondaland roster. She is not a joke.

4. She recently went on-air and said “She steals from us, we steal back” in reference to Iggy Azalea’s claims that Jidenna’s “Classic Man” sampled her song “Fancy”. Bloop.

I’m not sure this needs any explanation. Just fast forward to about minute 10:00 to see Janelle Monáe (aka Da Bauce) read Iggy for filth with a straight (and flawless) face. This woman is the patron saint of Black millennials.

Clearly, Janelle Monáe intends to change the face and sound of hip-pop culture from here on out. Her efforts to make music that is accountable, artists that are representative, and a brand that is relevant to the experiences of Black millennials today does not go unnoticed. She deserves all the good things. I’m just happy to be present at this moment in history to witness her ascent.


Photo credit: Flickr/Tradlands

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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

4 Responses

  1. John Henry says:

    I’m am in high agreement. Janelle Monáe has definitely caught my attention. When I watch her, I think “there is still hope for the next generation”.

  2. truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com says:

    You’re right. She has amazing talent and a strong conscious about real issues.

  3. John Henry says:

    Hey Brother Truth! Good to see you around. How is life?
    It is good to see a strong response coming from our youth in regards to the issues that are still facing us today. They are not being silent. They are being active. That is the only way to receive “positive” change. If we stay quiet, we we continue to be trampled on, until there is none left.

  4. truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com says:

    Hello Brother John Henry. I am enjoying life. I am learning more about the black experience in America plus globally. I am enjoying my day.

    Yes, there is a new generation of young people who are exposing police brutality and are advocating true solidarity as a community and as a people. The events in Ferguson, Baltimore, etc remind us that we have a long way to go and there are courageous fighting for what is right. We will not be silent.