If this were 1998 and Janelle Monáe just released her music video, “Pynk,” she’d be sitting at the top of MTV’s Total Request Live every day for months.
Alas, it’s 2018 and we no longer have Carson Daly to guide our spiritual music journey. Which is why I’m here to ask you all to quietly bow down to Janelle Monáe next album, Dirty Computer, scheduled to drop April 27.
The album will apparently come with a 50-minute Afrofuturist film featuring black, brown, queer, and trans people under threat from an authoritarian government trying to scrape their memories.
According to a new profile in The New York Times Magazine, the film will feature Monáe as a “deviant” hiding from a totalitarian government and on the run to find her love interest (which just so happens to be Tessa Thompson, Monáe’s rumored partner). The government is on a mission to delete Monáe’s memories, as well as the memories of her fellow deviants (made up of people of color, queer folks, etc). Each video in the film is intended to reflect one of those missing moments
A new Monáe’s album would be relevant always, but it’s especially salient at this political moment in history. The Trump administration has come under fire for multiple acts of erasure: LGTBQ people will be removed from the next census, for example, putting services to the community under jeopardy. Both the DOJ and the DOE have dramatically weakened their department’s civil rights enforcement divisions.
It’s devastating, so pardon if we drown our sorrows in this image of Monáe a synchronized pussy pants militia.
It’s the last remaining happy place.