Thursday, January 8, 2015

Janelle + Erykah = 1 Politrixie Anthem

I discovered Erykah Badu in college when she first came out. When Baduizm, her first album, dropped it was on rotation constantly in my friend's dorm rooms and there were constant arguments between people who thought she couldn't sing and the people who felt her message was deep and liked her image as well. This was back in the day when she was rocking the 3 foot tall turban on her head. But everyone agreed on this point: Erykah was never boring and she always came correct on message with spirituality + politics + love of self and culture. She was not to be judged cursorily and dismissed. And over time even some of my friends who didn't get it succumbed to her charm eventually. 

Mama's Gun is high on the list of my anthems. But to see her team up with Janelle Monae who is still young in years but wise and old in spirit in the same manner as Erykah was herself? Lemme tell you this video just brought me to tears when it dropped. I watched it over and over. 

Both Janelle and Erykah are so deep and cool in their creativity that if I ever met either of them I wouldn't even talk -- I'd just feel so unworthy Remember Wayne's World devotion to Aerosmith: "We're not worthy! We're not worthy! Yeah I feel them. That's basically my entire emotion toward Janelle and Erykah. Beauty + Talent (50,000) + Je ne sais quoi + Soul = Queens

And Janelle is strong, knows what she's aiming for creatively. Check out the lyrics of her rap at the end of Q.U.E.E.N.  Her shit is so tight it almost shames the listener into raising her consciousness but in a badass motivating manner that requires a beautiful skill and so much wisdom to deliver the message in a tone that pulls you in rather than repelling you from what would have been a self-righteous, blow hard message in anyone else's mouth. Janelle doesn't work that way; she's just doing her thing, spitting game and telling truth:

Janelle's Rap
I asked a question like this
"Are we a lost generation of our people?
Add us to equations but they'll never make us equal.
She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel.
So why ain't the stealing of my rights made illegal?
They keep us underground working hard for the greedy,
But when it's time pay they turn around and call us needy.
My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti
Gimme back my pyramid, I'm trying to free Kansas City.
Mixing masterminds like your name Bernie Grundman.
Well I'm gonna keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman
You can take my wings but I'm still goin' fly
And even when you edit me the booty don't lie
Yeah, keep singing and I'mma keep writing songs
I'm tired of Marvin asking me, "What's Going On?
March to the streets 'cuz I'm willing and I'm able
Categorize me, I defy every label
And while you're selling dope, we're gonna keep selling hope
We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope
Will you be electric sheep?
Electric ladies, will you sleep?

If you ain't know, baby, now you know.
This video makes me so joyful I can't even tell you.
And as for answering Janelle's question at the end? 
Oh baby, lemme tell you. 
I'm just tryna preach, love

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