Nearly half a decade after dropping The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe reveals her most personal album to date, Dirty Computer. The 14-track effort, which is accompanied by an “emotion picture,” boasts the singles “Make Me Feel,” “Django Jane,” “PYNK,” and “I Like That.”
Inspired by her late mentor Prince, Dirty Computer features appearances from Brian Wilson (“Dirty Computer”), Zoë Kravitz (“Screwed”), and Pharrell Williams (“I Got the Juice”).
“Prince was actually working on the album with me before he passed on to another frequency, and helped me come up with some sounds,” Monáe told BBC. “I really miss him, you know, it’s hard for me to talk about him. But I do miss him, and his spirit will never leave me.”
The album also explores her sexuality, which Monáe publicly addressed in an interview with Rolling Stone. “A lot of this album,” she explained in the story, “is a reaction to the sting of what it means to hear people in my family say, ‘All gay people are going to hell.'”
She hopes the album will empower others. “I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” she added. “This album is for you. Be proud.”
Now, fans can look forward to her “Dirty Computer Tour,” which kicks off June 11.