Janelle Monae has transcended genre codification so many times, we’ve joyfully given up on possibly ever explaining her to anyone. So who better to take us into this new year, when we need the status quo blown to pieces more than ever?
And indeed, her new video for the groovalicious 2018 single “Screwed” (from the brilliant album Dirty Computer) is yet another perception-smashing work of unclassifiable genius. The track itself is something like Janet Jackson as filtered through Flesh and Blood era Roxy Music, with incisively zeitgeisty lyrical jabs: “And I, I, I hear the sirens calling / And the bombs are falling in the streets / We’re all screwed!” Which just may be the most relevant mashup of feminism and geopolitics….ever.
Said video involves (no surprise) unidentified flying objects, graffiti splattered halls, Zoë Kravitz, and a live performance that has us seriously nostalgic for his late great Purpleness Prince + The Revolution.
“You fucked the world up now, we’ll fuck it all back down,” Janelle sneers at everyone who knows they’re guilty of exactly what she’s accusing them of.
Yeah, seriously? Don’t fuck with Ms. Monae.
(N.B. Janelle Monae will be appearing at Coachella in April, and has already booked summer European festival dates in London, Barcelona, Berlin and beyond.)