Thursday, August 28, 2008
Today is Part IV of our Leaders Of The New School feature, where we profile one of Paste Magazine's 25 Next Best Artists. Who goes under the lights today? Janelle Monae, of course.
Her influences include James Brown, Elvis, Judy Garland, Fiona Apple, Bjork and Rodgers and Hammerstein, and her music flows naturally from that stew. "I wouldn't know rock was rock, or R&B was R&B, until someone said that's what it is..."
Janelle Monae is The Matrix. I don't mean that she's some type of sentient computer program. I'm speaking of the actual movie, which didn't give a drop of piss in a bucket about conforming to genres. I don't know that Ms. Monae would describe her situation so colorfully, but she isn't conforming to any genres either. Good music is good music, no matter what label you slap on it. In this instance, you can't slap any label on it.