Janelle Monae Sings With T-Boz, Gets Love From Obamas
"Electric Lady" video includes cameos from Kimbra, Monica, Estelle, and more
Janelle Monáe kills the live performance of her latest album’s title track “Electric Lady,” but the Afrofuturist princess (or Q.U.E.E.N.?) now introduces a visual accompaniment that ups the ante. It seems our heroine has been leading a campaign centered around The Electric Lady that has both shown love to and received it from the Obamas (see below), with First Lady Michelle re-dubbed the First Electric Lady of a rare society depicted in the video above. Therein, we meet Electro Phi Beta members Esperanza Spaulding, Kimbra, Monica, Estelle, and T-Boz, who sing along as framed photos on the alumni wall. Watch this league of powerfully creative heroes get represented above.
“I am honored to be the First Electric Lady. I got my letter in the mail — I framed it; it’s up,” the FLOTUS told TIME recently. “I love that [Monáe] is one of the young artists here who is making music that means something. She has a message. She has a voice. She has a power in her. And she understands the responsibility she has within her grasp to take these opportunities and just take off with them. She serves as a role model and an inspiration to so many young people. And I am happy to call her my friend. I am so proud of her.”
President Barack Obama weighed in as well.
“Janelle has performed at the White House, like, 15 times,” he said, before joking, “There’s going to be an official Janelle Monáe room in the White House. We love her. Michelle and I love Janelle. We love her energy. We love her talent. But we most of all love her character. And anybody who gets a chance to talk to her [can see] this is just a remarkable, strong, smart young lady.”
He had a kicker though: “And I have to say nice things about her because she may be the only person in possession of a video in which I try to keep up with her and Usher on the dance floor. Now, this is top secret. She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.”