Janelle Monáe ain't playin' with us! Our favorite android is switching up her style once again for her upcoming album and "emotion picture" Dirty Computer. After teasing us with the project's trailer last week, Ms. Monáe stokes our anticipation even further by dropping not one but two lead singles, "Make Me Feel" and "Django Jane," and their respective videos, too!
On "Make Me Feel," Janelle channels her late mentor and friend Prince, giving us '80s-style funk guitar licks and synth stabs that will instantly put you in the mind of his hit "Kiss." The lyrics are all Janelle, though, as she lets her freak flag fly while claiming her own sexual liberation. "It's like I'm powerful / And a little bit of tender," she sings. "An emotional sexual bender." She continues playing with sex and sexuality in the song's Alan Ferguson-directed video. Bursting with color, the clip mixes and mashes together some of the Purple One's most iconic visual images and cult series Black Mirror's "San Junipero" episode to allow Janelle to let it all hang out — literally and figuratively. She's strutting what her mama gave her in sexy outfits that go far beyond her usual black-and-white tuxedo motif. Meanwhile, she and good friend Tessa Thompson play with tabloid fodder as Janelle bounces between her and a male lead throughout the course of the video to create a scandalous (pun intended) piece.
For "Django Jane," the Wondaland star leans hard into female empowerment, dropping her singing to step into her protégé Jidenna's hip-hop wheelhouse. The track is her attempt at starting a "motherf**king p***y riot" as she talks her ish about not only her ability to hold her own but the strength of her entire gender. Making sure her message gets heard is a bumping, trappy beat that's embellished by strings. She also borrows a bit of Jidenna's aesthetic for the video, with her and her all-female crew rocking colorful, menswear-inspired looks while she sits on her throne and at the head of a table and even lets the "vagina have a monologue" to get her powerful point across.
This definitely ain't the Janelle Monáe that we're used to and we're not one bit mad about it. Get into her two latest emotion pictures below and prepare yourself for Dirty Computer's April 27th arrival.