loving this album.

01/15 - 1 notes - leoblah / @leoblah


Kiko’s 30 for 30 (30 Songs That Made My Year, Over 30 Days)

Janelle Monáe “Can’t Live Without Your Love”

Is Janelle Monáe purposely flying at a lower altitude where we can reach her, or are we catching up to her? I’m inclined to think it’s the former, as an orchestrated ploy on her part. Futurism has been particularly hard to grasp for urban-music listeners. Africa Bambaataa notwithstanding, there’s a lack of reference points to draw from for your average listener. Andre 3000 was able to express futurist themes along with Big Boi, as Outkast, but Big Boi dressed in a way that most people grasped. They’re talented and made undeniable songs, sure, but your average person can see themselves in Big Boi and that gave Andre 3000 a freer hand just to be.  

Janelle Monáe does not have that luxury, nor is she even burdened by that aspect. I didn’t know what to make of her visual appearance, when I first encountered her. That hairstyle of hers. The Tuxedos. It’s a challenge and play on gender that Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich have done, but how many black female stars have taken that approach in dress? Better yet, how many have done that over the last 25 years? All of which is worth mentioning, as I personally know people who will reject Ms. Monáe’s music purely on how she looks. It seems that foreign and uninviting.

Which seemed partly true on her Metropolis: Suite I EP. She came off to me as the female version of post-Aquemini Andre 3000 — searching for alternatives and searching with glee, but not consistently, or confidently executing results, you know, experimenting for experiment-sake. That most likely was not even close to the truth, but that’s what I perceived. That perception changed for me a bit on The ArchAndroid, which I thought was pretty fantastic. It took awhile for me to get into that album, but her sheer force of personality and obvious musical range drew me in. She was still searching and finding her way.

The Electric Lady is the sound of Ms. Monáe coming into her own. It’s immediately satisfying. It’s a well crafted album from front to back. She also unveils a secret weapon: her rap skills! The woman can rap. If you listen intently you’ll notice how fantastic the instrumentation is. I don’t know how many are involved in the arranging of the instruments, but it’s that level of detail and execution that separates this from being just a pretty good album. This is a great album. It’s boasted by big time star power in Prince “Giving Em What They Love”, Erykah Badu “Q.U.E.E.N.”, Miguel “Primetime”, Solangé— who is part of our R&B royalty, if only by blood — “Electric Lady”, and up-and-comer Esperanza Spalding “Dorothy Dandridge Eyes”. Loved all of the mentioned.

There’s also emotional truth in the music. I loved “It’s Code” for the emotional feeling of it. I really, really loved ” Can’t Live Without Your Love”. I find it the most emotionally honest song she’s ever made. It’s tumultuous in describing her strong emotions that tug her in relentless ways. I feel that shit. It’s so fucking soulful. It was absolutely one of my favorite songs this year. And she’s bold, too, by naming the last song on the album “What An Experience”. She ain’t lying.


We taught poets how to dance.


Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae

There were a bunch of songs that were very important to me in 2013, just like ever other year. This is one of them.

Enjoy :)


Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae

There were a bunch of songs that were very important to me in 2013, just like ever other year. This is one of them.

Enjoy :)


She can fly you straight to the moon or to the ghettos
Wearing tennis shoes or in flats or in stilettos
Illuminating all that she touches, eye on the sparrow
A modern day Joan of her Arc or Mia Farrow
Classy, sassy, put you in a razzle-dazzy


Try not to dance.

Can’t wait to see her again in February with Ed and whoever


Cause baby it’s a primetime for our love
Ain’t nobody peekin’ but the stars above
It’s a primetime for our love
And heaven is bettin’ on us