Born December first 1985 Janelle Monae came into the world not knowing the impact she was yet to make. Raised in Kansas City, having role models like Dorthy to pave the way to her own dream. Singed with the Label Bad Boy in 2006, Monae finally got her big break. Sean Combs fell in love with her personality and image right away. Daniel Mitchell describes how her videos influenced Combs"[He] loved her look, loved that you couldn't see her body, loved the way she was dancing and just loved the vibe. He felt like she has something that was different- something new and fresh." Right away Combs could tell that she was something special. The first time I ever heard her voice was in 2010, in the song "Tightrope" had this new funk and soul feel that captured my heart. Monae has influenced me with her music, style, and view of society.
In today's music world the African American youth listen to morally wrong music. Music that includes stories of drug deals and the lives that have been taken away by violence. With teens listening to this all the time, no wonder society thinks we have lost our way. Monae has a different style of music unlike no other of her time. Behind her album The ArchAndroid she had legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, Debussy, and Philip K. Dick as her muse. Monae fills her music with soul and funk many artists today do not incorporate in their music. The words and rhythm of her music move me unlike the music of today. Moane's music shoes her own individuality, how she does not conform to society's standards. She does not wear revealing clothing, Monae is normally found in tasteful black and white suits. Instead of weave or hair extensions filled with unnatural colors her hair is almost always in a natural up-do. Her style in itself is something to look up to.
Look at Nicki Minaj's new video "Anaconda". From beginning to end the song is fetishing large backsides and skinny shaming women that do not fit that profile. Many individuals of all ages get the impression that this is what men like, what society likes. All women are beautiful, skinny or otherwise. Janelle Monae shows a very positive image for African American women and all women everywhere. Monae is seen more often than not wearing her signature black and white style. She explained her reasons to a Huffington Post reporter," It's a dedication to uniformity and I'm a minimalist by heart, but a lot of it had to do with me wanting to have a uniform like the working class, like my mom and my grandmother." She wants to fit into the persona of the average person, not letting fame corrupt her and being blinded from where she started. I admire the humility she shows for herself, She goes her own pace not falling into what the music business thinks it is best for her to conform to.
Society makes people think it is wrong to wear your natural hair, one is supposed to show skin all the time, but do not get too full of yourself or you might get accused of being pompous. Janelle Monae always has her hair in a statuesque up-do, never shows her body to get attention, but also corries herself with pride. Monae follows her vision no matter where she may end up in commercial success. Moane refuses to play the game media uses to single celebrities out. She always leaves a mysterious air about her no matter what question is being asked. Janelle Monae does not want to be classified by society, prying interviews and reporters do not stand a chance at stereotypes. Community and family are very important points in everyone's life. When someone gets a hold of the chance to be a celebrity they tend to lose a sense of family and community. She shows strength and pride many African American girls need to see in todays society. She inspires me to be confident in the way I am and to not let anyone classify me based on my personal choices.
Janelle Monae is very prominent in the music world, style, and her views of society. I have grown up thinking that things are supposed to be a certain way, that what my parents and family's views are is right. Over the years I have come to realise that my family has a closed view of the world, and that there is more to life than just fitting in. Monae has helped me come to this world changing realisation with her words and her music. For some it may be Beyonce', Obama, or Maya Angelou. There are many good African American role models in the world, but Janelle Monae stood out the most to me. She does things like go and perform with the street performers that appreciate her music. Women like her make differences in the world. I would like to make a difference in my world and community in someway or another.
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