Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I'm an Electric Lady! (Thank you, Janelle Monae)

I realize it's 2014, but this girl is happily stuck in the 90's. I watch Friends and Seinfeld as if I've never seen them before and hold out hope for a My So-Called Life movie to tie up the loose ends from its lone season on ABC. 

But nowhere is this preference more apparent than my music collection. Throwback Thursday is my favorite day of the work week, and I'm still praying Janet Jackson goes on one last tour. 

In my defense, I've had some exciting encounters with this decade. I went rolling in the deep and cheered when Horace put my love on top. I worried about Bruno Mars and them young, wild girls and wanted Christina Aguilera to say something. But the last album--yes, I say "album" and always will--I bought that was produced after 1999 a minute....

Oh! Mary Mary's The Sound. Had to acknowledge the God in Me.

But that time-defying static ceremoniously changed last week when I rushed to my phone and downloaded Janelle Monae's "The Electric Lady." 

For a long time I knew only about her taste in tuxedos, but she was part of the sorority of current singers to whom I'd planned to someday lend a lingering ear: Chrisette Michele, Estelle, Ledisi, Emeli Sande. I finally saw Monae in action via an "Electric Lady" performance on Maya Rudolph's show in May, and between the high-octane track and her incredible artistry, I was an instant fan. Then Horace or my kids did something adorable or aggravating, and the song flew out of my mind. I didn't even remember I'd wanted to remember it.

Until this happened last week: 

I have not been this excited about a music video since Janet dropped "All for You." From the wall of Electro Phi Betas (T-Boz, Monica...WHAT?) to the HBCU house party, this video gave me everything I didn't know I was missing in life. And as I stopped dancing long enough to hear the lyrics, I fell deeper in love:

"...Electric Lady, you're a star / You got a classic kind of crazy / But you know just who you are..."

See, Ms. Monae could not have known this, but not so long ago, I would have owned the crazy, not knowing who I was. I wanted to be a star but didn't think I was and doubted I ever could be.

But God has done a miraculous work in me these past few weeks. And by His grace, I can boldly own it all. I am a star. I've got a classic kind of crazy, but I know and LOVE just who I am.

This album may be a year old, but it's new to me (another 90's TV slogan .SIGH. Is Living Single on yet?). And this anthem could not have come at a better time. So thank you, Janelle Monae, for providing the perfect title track to this chain-breaking season of my life.

"We the kind of girls who ain't afraid to get down / Electric Ladies go on and scream out loud!"

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