In just one day, Janelle Monáe became the center of everyone’s conversations. Last week Monáe released the visual for her newest single “Lipstick Lover.” Some loved her artist direction and vision for the single’s video. Others found it to be too much. What those on both sides of the debate had in common was a shared surprise at Monáe’s choice to be open about her queerness and sexuality. The opposing sides of the argument believed, historically, the singer never expressed herself in a similar, transparent manner. While that may be true, this is not the first time she was open about her queerness and sexuality.
Janelle Monáe’s Sexual Freedom And Queerness In Her Music
The singer has been a voice for queer individuals for several years. In 2018, she covered Rolling Stone Magazine and officially came out.
“Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf**ker,” Monáe said in the interviw. “If you listen to my albums, it’s there.”
She even mentioned that her song “Q.U.E.E.N” was originally titled “Q.U.E.E.R.”
Shortly after the interview, she released her third studio album, “Dirty Computer,” which solidified her coming out announcement. Some critics even believed at the time that her song, “PYNK,” from the album, was the most vulgar she had ever released. The visuals for the song even included her and her dancers dressed as pink labias.
Some spectators have also mentioned that Monáe’s style of dress has changed recently, as well. At the top of the year, during awards season, people began to notice a shift in her style. Some even said that she “stopped dressing like the Monopoly man.” She jokingly responded to fans and said that they will not get any more new music from her because of their antics. However, she has mentioned that she never liked the comparisons of her to other women in the industry.
When she visited The Breakfast Club in 2018, she spoke about the comparisons.
“I felt like people were using my image to denounce, defame, and demean other women,” Monáe said.
Now, with her new visuals for “Lipstick Lover,” Monáe has taken the narrative into her own hands. Not only is she highlighting the sexualization of Black women, but she is redefining it.