Janelle Monae is having a busy 2018. First she dropped not one but 2 news singles and a video at the end of February, and now we’re hearing details of a new album, Dirty Computer, out April 27. Fans first got wind of the album with a teaser on YouTube, and it’s described as a “narrative film project.”
The new singles, “Make Me Feel” and “Django Jane” are the first two released from Dirty Computer. “Make Me Feel” was actually a collaboration with music artist Prince, and she says that he influenced the album: “Prince was actually working on the album with me before he passed on to another frequency, and helped me come up with some sounds. And I really miss him, you know, it’s hard for me to talk about him. But I do miss him, and his spirit will never leave me.” The influence is evident as “Make Me Feel” is a synthy wonderland of pop and sound effects.
‘Django Jane” is a full-on rap with Monae singing about the power of women with lyrics like “We gave you life, we gave you birth / We gave you God, we gave you Earth / We fem the future, don’t make it worse.” A girl power video accompanied the single with visuals including Monae becoming a woman’s private parts and sitting like a queen surrounded by leather-clad shade-wearing fierce females.
As for Dirty Computer, the album has been in production for a while. Monae made a splash at the box office appearing in Hidden Figures and other projects, so she put the album on hold when she got the opportunity to be in film. Dirty Computer will be her third full-length album and will be released from Wondaland Records, her own imprint. She describes the project as an “emotion picture,’ and it would seem so from the trailer which features a cacophony of images playing in her head as she floats. The sci-fi theme that’s present in her previous work doesn’t seem to have died on either. The album will have 14 tracks, and most of them are marked “Explicit.”
The last album Monae released as a solo project was The Electric Lady in 2013, so Dirty Computer is highly-anticipated. In between all of this promotion for the new album, Monae found time to go to the Oscars where she sizzled in a crimson masterpiece. In 2018 she’ll appear in the film The Women of Marwen. She’s also producing several other artists’ projects on Wondaland Records, including St. Beauty, who released a video in January.