Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Please Don't Mess This One Up, Diddy

Oh, Diddy. He's the black male version of Madonna, "reinventing" himself to keep the masses interested/unaware of how untalented he is as a performer. Constant sampling of better artists from eras past became "inventing the remix." He's made the leap from A&R scout to record company founder and owner (Bad Boy), wearer of shiny metallic track suits to a Council of Fashion Design of America award winning designer, Broadway actor (taking on the role Sidney Poitier made famous in the movie version of "A Raisin In The Sun"), and a reality television personality with his takes on the Making the Band series. Don't even get me started on the name changes.

So when one of my best friends from home told me about a new performer signed to Bad Boy, I was a little weary; his two new boy and girl groups leave much to be desired. But signing Janelle Monae—a Kansas City, KS native making waves in Atlanta with her blend of funk, soul, R&B, and futuristic imaginings of the world—is a step in the right direction for the multimedia mogul. Based on the power of her single on her MySpace page, Janelle Monae has many anxious for her star to rise; numerous publications, Andre 3000 and Big Boi of Outkast and even Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama have all sang her praises:

Janelle Monae's sound and style makes her stand out in a sea of record company manufactured and derivative pop princesses, and she's bringing the concept album to R&B (which, correct me if I'm wrong, is very unusual). Her android alter ego, Cindi Mayweather, has fallen in love with a human despite her computer programming and has to run away for fear of being disassembled.


Her debut album is slated for release in September, with an EP out in June. Listen to her single "Violet Star Happy Hunting" and its remix (sans Diddy) on her Myspace page.

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