Janelle Monáe doesn’t have to be as big a star as Beyoncé, Rihanna or Nicki Minaj, but why has she yet to reach the stature of even more apt peers like Frank Ocean and Miguel?
While I somewhat agree, I don’t think I WANT her to be a bigger star. I want more people to appreciate her, sure, but I don’t think she should have to change how she executes her music to get the respect she deserves. Right now she’s in a good place in terms of her creative freedom, fanbase, and overall consistency.
What makes her an amazing artist is how she executes her projects on a conceptual level. Her fans love her because she’s the embodiment of the “Carefree black girl.” She a true artist.
The only way I can really see an alteration of her execution working is if she did some work with Kanye on the next album. He’s just as conceptual as her, and just as, if not, more artistic than her, and has managed to still maintain his star power with everything he does. That bit of refinement she needs to elevate her status isn’t really easy to execute, but I think he’s probably the one who would be able to help her.
Otherwise, she’s good where she is. As long as the label is keeping her fed, and she keeps with this Metropolis AfroFuturist concept, I’ll be here for it.
Nah, she NEEDS to be a bigger star, not because of money or appreciation, but because her music and her message is important. Unlike a lot of other artists Janelle’s mission is much more than music and wanting to make people dance or sing. She’s all about empowerment and equality and making it okay to be “an other”.
If she were as popular as someone like Rihanna she could do a lot of good.
She really just has to do a better job of making a few songs that are catchy enough to draw in top 40 radio. That doesn’t mean sell out or make bullshit music. It’s possible.
Fun History Fact: The overwhelming majority of cowboys in the U.S. were Indigenous, Black, and/or Mexican persons. The omnipresent white cowboy is a Hollywood studio concoction meant to uphold the mythology of white masculinity.