Janelle Monae is back. After stirring up hella conversations and a few rumors with the release of videos like “Make Me Feel” and “Django Jane,” the artist and actor is ready to unleash her latest album, Dirty Computer. Dropping this Friday (April 27), her first release in five years is slated to feature Grimes, Zoë Kravitz, Pharrell and a member of iconic band The Beach Boys.
“I just wanted to give Black girls an opportunity to, whenever they’re feeling low or feeling down, to look at [the color] pink and see yourself and feel like ‘I got this shit,’” the “PYNK” singer told The Breakfast Club. During her appearance on the morning show hosted by Angela Yee, Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy, she also discussed her new music, the symbolism behind “PYNK’s” vagina dresses, and the misinterpretation of her look.
On Dirty Computer: Dirty Computer was an album I knew I needed to make before I even put out my first album. It’s this concept about what it means to have your very existence be erased.
On the symbolism behind the “PYNK” video's vagina dresses: Not all women have vaginas, so there are some women [in the video] with the pants on to represent a part of them. There are women in there who don’t have them on. Think about female genital mutilation. Think about our trans women. I tried as much as I possibly could to speak from my heart and my own personal experiences, because it starts with me. I am a women. I do have a vagina. I am proud of it, but that’s not all that it is that makes up a powerful woman. Pink like your brain. Pink like your heart. There’s so many forms of the pink. I just wanted to show a variety of who we could be.
On Django Unchained inspiring “Django Jane”: Yes, absolutely. It was inspired. Django Unchained. That was one of the first movies that made me just feel good. I’m sorry. I’m not trying to divide people or anything, but when I think about what happened to our ancestors, and then we have a revenge movie, it just inspired me.
On her image: It was important for me to experiment with different looks and different styles and have the freedom to express myself through my clothing, through the way that I dance, the way that I talk, all of it. I felt like for a while people were using my image to denounce, defame and demean other women. People may have been misled into believing that I was covering up to be an example of how to be proper. I didn’t like that. I never took that as a compliment because I thought that it was very divisive.
On her uniform: The reasons why I dress how I dress is to honor my working class parents through uniform and also to redefine what it meant to be young, Black and a woman artist. We don’t have to all take the same coordinates to reach the same destinations. I should be able to wear a tuxedo and it still be sexy.
On Cardi B: I love Cardi B. I love her album. Her album goes. I listen to it when I’m in glam.
On #Beychella: As a performer, as an entertainer I was proud. I was proud as a Black woman watching her kill the fucking stage. It was exceptional and brilliant.”
On the impact of the Women’s March: Oh my God, I was proud. I felt so proud, and this was a few days after the election.
Janelle Monae’s full interview with TheBreakfast Club can be viewed above.