by Jake McKenzie
photo by JUCO
Afrofuturism has a name. And that name is Janelle Monáe. The Afrofuturistic style and aesthetic in music dates back as early as Parliament and Sun Ra and has been dabbled in by Beyoncé, Rihanna, Missy Elliot and more. But it was Janelle Monáe’s powerful solo debut — the heady, spacey concept EP Metropolis and its sequel ArchAndroid — that ensured Janelle’s name would be brought up in every conversation on Afrofuturism from now ‘till eternity. Her third full-length solo album, Dirty Computer, was hailed by many as the best album of 2018. Forward thinking, cutting-edge, stylish, and artful, Janelle Monáe, still early in her career, is pumping out dense and high-quality content that will be deconstructed and examined for the foreseeable future of music history. Like Bowie, Beyoncé, or former collaborator Prince, Monáe is truly in a class of her own. The opportunity to see her live near the peak of her power should not be missed.