See Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu Escape Their Space-Shackles in 'Q.U.E.E.N.'

Neo-soul power duo fight stereotypes in video

Play
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

Late last month, we heard the first taste of Janelle Monáe's second album — The Electric Lady, due out this fall — and it was hardly your standard hype-building fare. "Q.U.E.E.N." is a self-empowering soul-funk workout featuring a beguiling guest turn by fellow iconoclast Erykah Badu. The song shouts out twerking in front of the mirror, playfully challenges sexual mores, teases the self-righteous and jostles racial stereotypes before arriving at its thesis: "Categorize me? / I defy every label." Now the track has a video to go with and it's just as good. Building on the sci-fi themes of Monáe's masterful debut, The ArchAndroid, we pick up in a distant future where a tyrannical organization has created a "Living Museum" stocked with "time-traveling rebels" caught in suspended animation. These, of course, are Monáe and her band (as recently seen thrashing Coachella), plus "her dangerous accomplice Badoula Oblangata" — not the type to hold still for long. Dig the revolution, and don't forget to #expressyourself along the way.

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 Katy Perry — Katy Perry - This Is How We Do (feat. RiFF RAFF) " 03:24
  • 2 Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL — Prince - Clouds " 04:34
  • 3 P. Reign — DnF (feat. Drake & Future) " 03:25
  • 4 Stalley — Jackin' Chevys (Prod. by Rashad) " 03:26
  • 5 Emile Haynie — A Kiss Goodbye (feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Devonté Hynes, Sampha) " 03:46
  • 6 Rusko — I Wanna Mingle (ft Pusher) " 02:37

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA