Janelle Monáe’s PYNK Era

A Bold Looks at Queerness and Pussy Power

BY: Rudie Obias

With the release of Janelle Monáe’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, in a few weeks, the singer/songwriter recently dropped the album’s third single, “PYNK.” It’s sounds like another hit for the 32-year-old. And this is how she described the song and music video herself, it’s a “brash celebration of creation, self love, sexuality, and pussy power.”

The music video, directed by Emma Westenberg, is as forward as it comes, as it features Monáe arriving to an isolated desert motel in a futuristic hover car surrounded by gorgeous dancers. Everything in the music video is pink from the desert sand to the sunny sky. It feels like something out of a Alejandro Jodorowsky movie like The Holy Mountain or El Topo. As soon as the melody drops, we see Monáe in large pink trouser shaped like a vagina, or how the Internet call them as simply “vagina pants,” which were made by Dutch fashion designer Duran Lantink.

It also features Tessa Thompson, who also appeared in the music video for “Make Me Feel,” popping out of Monáe’s vagina pants, as a declaration of their relationship (be it casual or otherwise). The two have been rumored to be a couple and the past few music videos from Janelle Monáe almost confirms it.

PYNK” is also a collaboration with Canadian art pop musician Grimes, who worked with Monáe on the song “Venus Fly.” The song is a celebration of sexuality and queerness, something that feels very open and bold, which is all contained in the shape of the female reproductive system, especially with lyrics like, “Pink like the inside of your, baby/Pink behind all of the doors, crazy/Pink like the tongue that goes down, maybe/Pink like the paradise found.”

It’s seems uncanny how Janelle Monáe can seamlessly blend music, politics, and visual art into a wide range of musical genres. It’s also unreal how she expertly puts all of it together in something that’s popular with general audiences. She’s a true artist who’s not afraid to put herself on display in an honest way.

Dirty Computer drops on Spotify and Apple Music on April 27. I can’t wait!