Janelle Monáe is officially back! The singer-turned-actress has released two new singles titled "Make Me Feel" and "Django Jane" from her forthcoming album, Dirty Computer.
The tracks come a week after she officially launched her third LP with a futuristic Blade Runner 2049-esque trailer. Monáe, on Thursday, Feb. 22, also released two equally visually striking new music videos.
No One Does It Better
In "Make Me Feel," the singer brings back Thor: Ragnarok and Annihilation star Tessa Thompson. The music video was directed by Alan Ferguson, who also previously worked with Beyoncé ("Dance For You"), Katy Perry ("Hot N Cold"), Chris Cornell ("Part of Me"), and Monáe ("Q.U.E.E.N.").
With its retro fashion and neon purple tint, the music video is definitely reminiscent of "San Junipero," one of the most popular episodes of Netflix's sci-fi/dystopia series Black Mirror. The similarities do not end there: Thompson stars in the music video as one of Monáe's potential romantic partners. She and another man do a tug-of-war dance for the singer's attention on the dance floor.
"It's like I'm powerful with a little bit of tender," Monáe sings. "An emotional, sexual bender."
Who Run The World
"Django Jane" is her anthem for girl power. In the music video directed by Andrew Donoho, Monáe sits on her throne with an army of dancers at her feet.
"We gave you life, we gave you birth," she sings, "We gave you God, we gave you Earth."
The 32-year-old explains to The Guardian that the track is "a response to me feeling the sting of the threats being made to my rights as a woman, as a black woman, as a sexually liberated woman, even just as a daughter with parents who have been oppressed for many decades." She adds, "Black women and those who have been the 'other,' and the marginalized in society — that's who I wanted to support, and that was more important than my discomfort about speaking."
Monáe has always been socially conscious and progressive. In this year's Grammy Awards, before presenting a performance by Kesha, she made a rousing speech about Time's Up, a movement started by celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston that aim to aid women who have suffered sexual assault in the workplace not just in Hollywood but also in any field.
Dirty Computer will be released on April 27. The singer describes her new project as an "emotion picture," a narrative movie with an accompanying musical album. Watch the music videos below.