Last night, Erykah Badu brought her “Out My Mind, Just in Time” tour to Roseland in NYC. All respects to Erykah Badu, I was really there because of her opening act - Janelle Monae was on the bill. I wanted to witness Janelle Monae live. So far, ArchAndroid is the best album of the year; the fact that no one seems to be buying it is another story. Questlove was the DJ for the night. When I walked in the door, I knew I had entered a true music zone, Questlove was playing the instrumental that Double Trouble rhymes over in Wild Style. You see, I lost 97% of you already. Questlove dubbed his set “A Lesson in Hip-Hop” and he truly dug deep, cueing up endless dusty albums, blended into the songs that sampled them. I got schooled, had no idea the flute in Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin” came from an Egyptian record, but considering it was produced by Timbaland - not surprised.more..
It’s been three days since Janelle Monae’s ArchAndroid was released; every morning since then I’ve pushed her album to dangerous decibels in my earphones. I’m fascinated by the level of detail in the music, and ecstatic her creativity was allowed to thrive without restriction. It’s not a collection of 3 minute songs, ArchAndroid is a fun, high concept album, best heard from front to back. In fact, on the first listen, where you’d expect a fade to the next track, instead you’ll find that four songs have seamlessly blended into each other. It’s, pop, dance, jazzy, classical, Broadway theatre, soul and funky, all at once.more..
On Tuesday night, Janelle Monae performed in NYC at a Giant Step/Charity Water event in one of the luxurious spaces of the Hudson Hotel. Not for nothing, but it seems like she’s been sporting that female tux since her debut. Even after signing to Bad Boy. You’d think the ‘machine’ would spin into operation and she’d be Janelle x 10. I’m talking a stylist.more..
Just when it looked like the only artists Diddy was interested in were of the Making the Band variety, there he goes and signs singer + songwriter + producer = Janelle Monae.
The deal is a joint venture with her independent label family The Wondaland Arts Society. It sounds lke Diddy doesn’t want to waste anytime getting this project out.. again. Inked for this June, an EP called Metropolis Suite will be the the first official Bad Boy release.
Janelle conceived Metropolis Suite as a four part series of ‘suites’ that, among other things, told the story of her android cyber soul alter ego, Cindi Mayweather. Though I didn’t see it in stores, last year, there was an album release party for the first suite.
This Bad Boy EP could be the second suite in the series or a re-release of the first. That remains to be seen.more..