The Janelle Monáe Rate: #18 'mix of excellence and creativity' | Page 6 | The Popjustice Forum

The Janelle Monáe Rate: #18 'mix of excellence and creativity'

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by BubblegumBoy, May 9, 2022.


Favourite Janelle Album?

  1. Metropolis: The Chase

  2. The Archandroid

  3. Electric Lady

  4. Dirty Computer

  1. I'm guessing The Electric Lady with I Want You Back (which I imagine most people don't really see as part of the album anyway).
  2. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

    Hidden Figures is such a great film, and she's so good in it. Movie star Janelle is iconic to be honest.
  3. Nothing of value lost there. An interlude and I don't rate interludes that highly anyway and a couple of very dull extras.
    BubblegumBoy likes this.
  4. #60


    I Want You Back (The Electric Lady)

    Average score: 6.84

    Android Allies: 9 x 1 (@Music Is Death) 8.25 x 1 (@TéléDex)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 5 x 2 (@Ana Raquel, @Phonetics Girl)

    Host Score & Commentary: 6

    ‘I Want You Back’ was of course originally released by the Jackson 5 back 1969 as their first national single. The song went on to be a number one for the group in 1970. The track was ranked #104 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It has been covered by various artists (most recently by Twice) as well as being one of the most sampled songs in hip hop music. Janelle has included the song on her setlists from near the beginning of her career. The track is included on the Target edition of ‘The Electric Lady’.


    @DJHazey 7 // Hey this is a cool cover. Reading the comments told me it was Janet’s, or I wouldn’t have known otherwise lol but it sure sounded familiar.




    Stronger (Extras - Solo)

    Average score: 6.88

    Android Allies: 9 x 2 (@DJHazey, @Music Is Death)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 4 x 1 (@clowezra) 5 x 2 (@Sprockrooster, @Phonetics Girl)

    Host Score & Commentary: 7.5

    ‘Stronger’ was released as part of the animated Netflix series ‘We The People’ Released in 2021 and executive producer by the Obamas, each episode revolves around a song written especially for the series. Other artists features during the series include Adam Lambert, Bebe Rexha and Brandi Carlile.

    This is not Janelle’s first involvement with the Obamas. In 2012 she played CarolinaFest in support of President Obama. A few years later in 2015 Janelle was featured on the collaborative track ‘This Is for My Girls’ which was assembled by Michelle Obama. Other artists featured on the track include Kelly Clarkson and Zendaya.


    @DJHazey 9 // Ooo, this is very instant and bouncy. It’s funny how it sounds like “every time you think we get a little weed” and I’m like “you can get it anywhere, it’s 2022!”.


  5. Sigh, the extras getting done dirty again. It's like a rate tradition.
    BubblegumBoy likes this.
  6. Ready to lose some more album tracks?



    Smile (Metropolis: The Chase Suite)

    Average score: 6.93

    Android Allies: 10 x 1 (@Attis) 9 x 1 (@Music Is Death)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 4 x 1 (@Stradiwhovius) 5 x 2 (@BubblegumBoy, @Ana Raquel)

    Host Score & Commentary: 5 ‘Yeah, this just grates on me too much. Not for me.’

    Another day, another cover falls. This time it is ‘Smile’ that falls, a track from the Special Edition of ‘Metropolis: The Chase Suite’. The song is a cover originally written by Charlie Chaplin as an instrumental piece to accompany the 1936 movie ‘Modern Times’. Lyrics were later added in 1954 by John Turner and Geoffery Parsons. The song was popularized by Nat King Cole. Michael Jackson cited ‘Smile’ as his favourite song.

    The track acts as a cliffhanger conclusion to Act I, reflecting upon Cindi who is separated from her lover as well as using it as a callback to the depression and war torn era of Metropolis and Modern Times.


    @DJHazey 7.5 // Not sure if I will ever actually seek it out, but it's effectively haunting.




    I Got The Juice (Dirty Computer)

    Average score: 7.03

    Android Allies: 9.5 x 1 (@boombazookajoe) 9 x 3 (@BubblegumBoy, @DJHazey, @Music Is Death)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 3 x 2 (@Stradiwhovius, @clowezra)

    Host Score & Commentary: 9 - think I may have overscored this one a bit. Yeah, its fun and I bet its a moment live. 'This pussy grabs you back' is iconic, I have to admit.

    ‘I Got The Juice’ is our first track to go from ‘Dirty Computer’. Featuring Pharrell Williams, this is their second time collaborating after working on the ‘Hidden Figures’ soundtrack together. The track is produced by long time collaborators Nate Wonder and Chuck Lightning with Nana Kwabena.

    Janelle spoke to Billboard about collaborating with Pharrell, saying:

    "Pharrell Williams has been a musical hero to me for a very long time and we collaborated on the Hidden Figures soundtrack. He was one of the producers on the film and I was in the middle of writing Dirty Computer. I saw that he was trying to tell the story of these three black women that nobody knew helped get our first astronaut into space. Talking to him, I felt like he was a great ally for women, and black women in particular. When he heard what my album was going to be about he said, 'Let me know what I can do.; I called him for 'I Got the Juice' so he could show his presence as an ally to women. I think it's important that men and women work together to uplift women and fight for women's rights, which are human rights."


    @Stradiwhovius (3) // apparently this is much better and works live but I haven't seen it live so tough.

    @DJHazey 9 // Wasn't really sure what to think at first, yet it just creeped up on me as a fun vibey track. This happens more often than not with Pharrell songs it seems. I’m not really into the rap part though, because it strays away from the light-hearted approach of the rest of the song.


    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
  7. nn

    Cool how every album (including the EP) has lost one song each so far. it'sequality.gif
  8. I Got the Juice deserved to go much further, makes me wonder if Dirty Computer will start falling apart unceremoniously.
    BubblegumBoy likes this.
  9. I'm sorry WHAT?!

    We cut I GOT THE JUICE ALREADY?! This is ... not it.

    I am embarrassed to admit that I have changed many a diaper singing "Ain't no one fresher than you" so maybe I'm just fucking weird.
  10. And I'd do it again!!
    clowezra and BubblegumBoy like this.
  11. #56


    Cybertronic Purgatory (Metropolis: The Chase)

    Average score: 7.11

    Android Allies: 9 x 4 (@soratami, @Sprockrooster, @godspeed, @Music Is Death)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 2 x 1 (@Stradiwhovius)

    Host Score & Commentary: 8.5 - I love this piece and its beautiful and haunting vocals

    In this short track, Cindi expresses her longing for Anthony Greendown as well as her despair at her current situation. She is caught in limbo with her future uncertain, stuck in ‘Cybertronic Purgatory’. The track is written and produced with Chuck Lightning and Nate Rocket Wonder, who worked on all the tracks on the EP.


    @Sprockrooster 9 // The only critique I have to give this, is that it is too short.

    @DJHazey 5 // Only because there’s nice chilling chants in the background, otherwise can’t go any higher for basically a non-song.




    My First Love (Extras - Features)

    Average score: 7.14

    Android Allies: 10 x 2 (@Sprockrooster, @clowezra) 9 x 1 (@TéléDex)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 4.75 x 1 (@Stradiwhovius) 5.5 x 1 (@DJHazey)

    Host Score & Commentary: 6

    Jaspects are a jazz band from Atlanta who formed back in 2003. They state their sole purpose at ‘to redefine all aspects of jazz’. Many of the members are graduates of Morehouse College. Whilst information is difficult to glean online, it seems the group released 4 albums. They have actually worked with Janelle on two songs during their career.


    @Sprockrooster 10 // Janelle is showing she has a musical versatility and all I am here for it. Lady Gaga whomst? That said my 10 might be a bit inflated cause I know this will done way too dirty. Escape the bottom 10. (Well only just dd)

    @DJHazey 5.5 // For some reason, this makes me wonder what a collaboration with Kimbra would sound like. Reminds me of some of my favorite Kimbra slow-jams, just not as engaging.

    @clowezra 10 // A rate discovery for me, this is incredible!?


  12. I did it again!
    clowezra, BubblegumBoy and soratami like this.
  13. This is my last elimination before I head off on holiday (to the beautiful land of Sweden, no less). I will be leaving you in the hands of the lovely @Sprockrooster for the next week. I will still be online just not posting eliminations.



    Turntables (Extras - Solo)

    Average score: 7.17

    Android Allies: 10 x 2 (@soratami, @Remorque)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 3.5 x 1 (@clowezra) 5 x 1 (@DJHazey)

    Host Score & Commentary: 8

    ‘Turntables’ was released In 2020 as part of the documentary film ‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ The film was directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes, focusing on voter suppression. The track, which was written for and featured in the film, gained Janelle an Oscar nomination for Original Song.

    Janelle spoke about the writing process of the song to Variety, stating:

    There was a lot of rage and uncertainty going on in the world. And I think after I watched the film, I started to think about the Stacey Abrams quote: “I’m not optimistic nor pessimistic. I’m determined.” So I started to think about how hope without action is useless, and rage without action is useless. It’s not going to be a solution to just stay in my emotions. We have to act and do whatever it is that we can do to help amplify the truth. And for me, it was to amplify this film, which is focused on voter suppression, which is something that marginalized folks like my family members and even sometimes I have been a victim of.


    @DJHazey 5 // Didn’t turn the tables on me or do anything else really. Everything about it is kind of mild.


  14. I really don't get why people don't like that one, definitely the best extra along with Yoga for me. Well, I'm certainly glad I didn't include it in my rate dd
  15. #52 (TIE)


    Hell You Talmbout (The Electric Lady)

    Average score: 7.22

    Android Allies: 10 x 1 (@odyism)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 4 x 1 (@clowezra)

    Host Score: 8.0

    Sprocky's score: 6.0

    In this rate we looked at the bonustrack version of this protest song. A short version of Hell You Talmbout (an abbrevation for "What The Hell You Talking About?)" got on the target exclusive version of The Electric Lady. I inflated my score a bit because of the songs importance and message it spreads. In retrospect too little as I am not happy to see this falling out before top 50. As I already mentioned this is a protest song that got a 2015 update featuring artists from the Wondaland artist collective. In this protest song they list the names of African-Americans who died due to racial violence (including via law enforcement). They also released an instrumental version of the song so others could make their own version. It consequently lead to one emphasising on trans women victims. In 2021 another updated version with Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chloë X Halle and others featured on a 17-minute version of this song. It is not entirely my place (as a white homosexual) to dive into this message further and if I would I could not be able to grasp the magnitude of importance this song has ór able to skillfully write that down. All I can say is just to play these songs. Let these names not to be forgotten.


    @DJHazey 6,5 // Doesn’t really move the needle for me in either direction, yet it’s pleasant enough.


    #52 (TIE)


    Call The Law (Extras - Features)

    Average score: 7.22

    Android Allies: 9 x 2 (@Sprockrooster, @Ana Raquel)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 4 x 1 (@DoggySwami)

    Host Score: 7

    Sprocky's score: 9

    I felt like introducing OutKast would be a bit superfluous. We all know them right, right? This featured on the last album OutKast made - Idlewild (2006) and followed the enormous hit that Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was (including Hey Ya)! The soundscape OutKast created as a musical niche fits Janelle perfected and I feel like she kind of got launched via OutKast as the next big thing (not to dismiss her work with the Jaspects or Purple Ribbon All Stars). Outkast gave her broader audience. Perhaps I am missremembering things from blogs. When OutKast quit she was really seen as the female answer to them and she would release Metropolis: The Chase a year after this release. She mentioned from the get go how she got inspired by the music from OutKast, especially Stankonia that had the magnificent Ms. Jackson. I actually dreamed about her joining Outkast life Fergie did with the Black Eyed Peas. It would have the same structure as BEP, but now with more layers and depth. I have two youtube embeds left and one is obviously for Call The Law itself, but instead of including In Your Dreams - which is also a feature for the Idlewild album - I want to include Be Still. She features on Big Boi's track (half of Outkast) Be Still from 2011 and though it does come over as shady that this is my favourite track from him as Janelle is more featured it is no lie. I adore the mellow feel Janelle brings to the table. At that time Janelle is already an established artist in her own right and I love how confident she sounds on that track.


    @DJHazey 8.5 // Whew, this grooves and spits firah!


  16. All the right songs are going, thankfully. It just feels like her taste level is thrown into question on the last few songs bizarrely!
    Sprockrooster likes this.
  17. I somehow missed @Sprockrooster would be taking over and just thought there wouldn't be any eliminations for a while, so this is a nice surprise. Both of these songs are 7s for me so this seems like a fitting time for them to be eliminated.
  18. Bottom of the page for this next song? I honestly couldn't care less.



    Venus Fly (Extras - Features)

    Average score: 7.24

    Android Allies: 10 x 3 (@Ana Raquel, @godspeed, @Music Is Death)

    Doing the Droids Dirty: 0 x 1 (@Phonetics Girl)

    Host Score: 9

    Sprocky's score: 4

    Well... well... well... Not me having to do a write-up for Grimes. Why is the universe like this? Time to shake things up right before top 50 with a highly divisive cut. Aside from the 10's this got. At the other end we have a zero, a three (@DoggySwami), a 4 minus (@Stradiwhovius) and two fours (me and @Attis). Clearly you hate this or love it. I do not hate everything from Grimes musically and I can definitely see how Art Angels is a stroke genius. But this however is a bit too much indie for me. From Art Angels I love Scream, Butterfly and realiti. Guess I need it to be a little bit more poppy when it comes to Grimes. The artwork above is apparently the artwork from the Grimes Wiki Fandom. I do not what is going on, but it definitely looks ace.


    @Crisp X 7.0 // Art Angels contains tons of great songs but that one has always been mid to me.

    @DJHazey 9.0 // Not one of my absolute favorites on the album, but it’s still a soothing moment.


    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  19. TOP 50

    Metropolis: The Chase (4/6)

    Violet Stars Happy Hunting!!! (ft. The Skunks)
    Many Moons
    Sincerely, Jane
    Mr President

    The Archandroid (15/16)

    Dance or Die (ft. Saul Williams)
    Locked Inside
    Sir Greendown
    Cold War
    Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)
    Oh, Maker
    Come Alive (The War of the Roses)
    Mushrooms & Roses
    Neon Valley Street
    Make the Bus (ft. of Montreal)
    57821 (ft. Deep Cotton)
    Say You'll Go

    The Electric Lady (14/16)

    Givin' Em What They Love (ft. Prince)
    Q.U.E.E.N. (ft. Erykah Badu)
    Electric Lady (ft. Solange)
    PrimeTime (ft. Miguel)
    We Were Rock & Roll
    Dance Apocalyptic
    Look Into My Eyes
    It's Code
    Ghetto Woman
    Can't Live Without Your Love
    Sally Ride
    Dorothy Dandridge Eyes (ft. Esperanza Spalding)
    What an Experience

    Dirty Computer (11/12)

    Dirty Computer (ft. Brian Wilson)
    Crazy, Classic, Life
    Take a Byte
    Screwed (ft. Zoe Kravitz)
    Django Jane
    Pynk (ft. Grimes)
    Make Me Feel
    I Like That
    Don’t Judge Me
    So Afraid

    Extras – Solo (4/9)

    Lettin Go!
    Yoga (ft. Jidenna)
    Hum Along and Dance (Gotta Get Down)

    Extras – Features (2/8)

    Do My Thing – Estelle
    Pressure Off – Duran Duran & Nile Rogers

    Especially the extra's got a massive beating with only 2 features left. Every album has suffered losses and 2 for Metropolis: The Chase in the past 10 cuts which is 33%. Are they going to hang on as there aren't that many extra's to sacrifice to make albums flourish...
  20. Venus Fly is an absolute banger, really grew on me over the years-but it would have been wild if it had beaten some of the songs left in. So, so curious to see how her albums are going to fare against eachother.
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