I don’t know a lot about R&B or hip-hop, but I know what I like, and since discovering Janelle Monáe a few weeks ago I’ve been well and truly addicted.
In any case, Monáe is almost impossible to pigeonhole. R&B is only the broadest description of her music, which spans a wide variety of styles – jazz, classical, ’70s-esque funk, and more – and all in the service of a science fiction concept story, spanning multiple albums, about a messianic android on the run from the dystopian future society that created her.
She’s a brilliant musician, a proudly knowledgeable sci-fi nerd, a fervent opponent of rigid gender roles – and holy damn, this woman can dance. It’s the complete package!