Janelle Monae.jpg

Janelle Monáe Robinson (known as Janelle Monáe) was born on December 1st, 1985 in Kansas City, Kansas. During her school years, she performed in many plays such as Cinderella and The Wiz. Monáe received a scholarship to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City to
study musical theater. Although she was the only African-American woman in her class, she eventually dropped out because she felt like her creativity at the school was not thriving like she wanted it to. She then moved to Atlanta, Georgia to start her musical career. She has successful albums such as The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady.Today,she owns her own record label called Wondaland Records. She continues make music today and performs them.
"Janelle Monáe Biography." The Biography.com Website. A&E Networks Television. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

"Sally Ride"

Sally Ride.jpg

Take me to the river
My soul is looking for a word from God
Ooh God
Like a rose in the cold will I rise
I packin my space suit
And I’m taking my s* and moving to the moon
Where there are no rules
Wake up Mary have you heard the news
You got to wake up Mary
You got the right to choose
I tried and heard the pride
but the way the stars look into my eyes tonight
Tell me who can who can I trust?

To get lost in your thoughts
Is a very very complex thought
And the things that you find are surprising
It’s the way you believe that becomes the very thing you see
Take a ride in the sky it’s just calling

Ooh when all your friends are gone
And the trees will burn when the comets play on
Tell who can, who can I trust
I wanna fly, fly!
Honey, girl, sister, ooh!

""Sally Ride" Lyrics." JANELLE MONÁE LYRICS. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

The beginning of this poem starts off as an imperative to abstract being. This imperative is an apostrophe because at the beginning she is calling out to the blue or some people may also conclude that Janelle Monae is calling out to God (something or someone they may or may not be there). The surrounding theme of the first stanza is freedom. The title serves as an important symbol to the theme of this particular line: “I’m packin’ my space suit and taking my s* to the moon.” “Sally Ride” is the name of the first woman who went to space June 18, 1983. Not only is the theme of this poem is freedom, but it also has a feminist aspect of it that states that women are free to do whatever they please. The second stanza evokes an abstract mood when being read. When Monae says “To get lost in your thoughts is a very, very complex thought and the things that you find are surprising,” she alludes to how women often doubt themselves when they want to achieve something; this is getting “lost in your thoughts.” The she rebuttals this statement by saying “is a very,very complex thought” to oppose that overthinking your goals is more complex than actually just going forth to achieve your goals, finally, she concludes with “the things that you find are surprising” to comfort the reader that heading towards your goals and achieving them can be a beauteous revelation. The last stanza exclaims independence from anybody. The lines, “Ooh when all your friends are gone and the trees will burn when the comets play on tell who can, who can I trust” revealed to me that people are not always going to be there for you on Earth but nature will continue to live on. When the line ends in “I wanna fly, fly!” this represented to me total freedom, and in coordination with Sally Ride, this is when she took off to space in 1983. Despite that doubts that Ride had to face as a female astronaut, she still pursued her goal. Also, the repetition of the words "fly, fly" exaggerated the urge of setting yourself free. These words are also a spondee because it is two stressed syllables that continue to support the exaggeration Monae is exclaiming by stressing her desire to set herself free. While reading this poem, I felt a sense of escaping the negative elements of my life and, metaphorically, I wanted to fly away to a place where only positivity and endless hopes exist.
Dunbar, Brian. NASA. NASA. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

"Cold War"

So you think I'm alone?
But being alone's the only way to be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqmORiHNtN4
When you step outside
You spend life fighting for your sanityCold Warr.jpg

If you want to be free
Below the ground is the only place to be
'Cause in this life
You spend time running from depravity

Bring wings to the weak and bring grace to the strong
May all evil stumble as it flies in the world
All the tribes comes and the mighty will crumble
We must brave this night and have faith in love

I'm trying to find my peace
I was made to believe there's something wrong with me
And it hurts my heart
Lord have mercy, ain't it plain to see?

“Cold War” theme has a significant influence on me that made me realize the world as a whole. The theme is that the world is cold and many negative factors will tear a person down, but if you keep you spirit and sanity, you will not be effected in this cold, brutal world. Throughout the poem, Janelle Monae has various slant rhymes which is lines that sound like they rhyme but the sound in not exact. She used slant rhyme in stanza 1 when she said “If you want to be free, below the ground is the only place to be” and “I'm trying to find my peace, I was made to believe there's something wrong with me.” Personally, I believe she did this because while she wanted to get her point across about living in a cold world, she also wanted a certain sound to the poem that will give a specific beat that will make the reader concede her views.

The meaning of the second stanza stood out to me because it alluded to slavery. She says “If you want to be free, below the ground is the only place to be.” Basically, if you want to free yourself from the chains of oppression and war, you have to escape to a path that is unseen in order to reach freedom. This message continues to pick up strength when she ends with “Cause in this life, you spend time running from depravity.” Depravity is immoral actions and corruption. It is true that in this world, we, as people, continue to escape from depravity even though it always finds its way around us. In the third stanza, the mood shifts to hopefulness but one line in the fourth stanza counters the third stanzas mood: “I was made to believe there’s something wrong with me.” This one line leaves the entire poem incomplete in thought. This line means that no matter how much you try to better yourself, society will always tell you that there is always something wrong with you and you will never be perfect. Although society may say that no one is perfect, this line blatantly dissembles the negativity that a person will never have enough effort to be perfect even if we think that perfection is possible.



"Are we a lost generation of our people?
Add us to equations but they'll never make us equal
She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel
So why ain't the stealing of my rights made illegal?
They keep us underground working hard for the greedy
But when it's time pay they turn around and call us needy
My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti
Gimme back my pyramid, I'm trying to free Kansas City
Mixing masterminds like your name Bernie Grundman
Well I'mma keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman
You can take my wings but I'm still gonna fly
And even when you edit me the booty don't lie
Yeah, I'ma keep sangin', I'mma keep writin' songs
I'm tired of Marvin asking me "What's Going On?"
March to the streets 'cuz I'm willing and I'm able
Categorize me, I defy every label
And while you're selling dope, we're gonna keep selling hope
We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope
Will you be electric sheep? Electric ladies, will you sleep?
Or will you preach?"

"Janelle Monáe (Ft. Erykah Badu) – Q.U.E.E.N." Genius. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

In Janelle Monae’s most famous verse of her song Q.U.E.E.N, she raps a verse that truly changed my perspective of life as a person and as a young lady. Lines 5-6 represents hard working people who work endlessly to get a living, but when the people expect to get what they earn for, other superiors call these people needy. This line represents the classists system that we live in. We believe that in order to be successful, we have to work a high paying job and to keep our successes, we have to act greedy in order to separate us from those who are “less” hard working. The allusion to Queen Nefertiti represents the feminine view of being independent. Queen Nefertiti was one of the most powerful rulers of Egypt and was known to slay her enemies and often dressed as a man to disguise herself as a pharaoh. She is a symbol of freedom which is why Monae says, “My crown is too heavy.” This metaphoric crown carries knowledge, power, and independence and instead of freeing Egypt, Monae is trying to free Kansas City (her hometown).
When I noticed the people she compared herself to, I knew that they had an impact in history and in the world today: Bernie Grundman is renowned audio engineer, Harriet Tubman was a slave who helped freed other slaves, and Marvin Gaye influenced the world with his music (and his popular song What’s Going On) These people listed truly defines the meaning of this entire verse because it evinces that people back then strived for change using their talents or good deeds and people today can still do the same thing, but we cannot sit down and make change from nowhere. The last four lines have end rhyme which makes the verse catchier, yet easy to understand the entire meaning of the verse. The entire verse is mainly of trochaic pentameters and trochaic hexameters. The stresses of the first syllables has a confrontational tone that pushes each lines meaning to the max, meaning that as Monae is saying this verse, she is trying to shove her voice into the readers face (i.e. "Are we a lost generation of our people? Add us to equations but they'll never make us equal). As she ask a question or makes a new point, her voice rises each time. (Try it! or listen to at it (https://www.youtube.com/watchv=tEddixS-UoU)
The verse ends in a rhetoric sentence. After a powerful verse, the last question left me in awe because I was still left in thought about every truth that was stated.

Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

Say You'll Go


Love is such a novelty
A rarely painted masterpiece
A place few people go or ever know
An underwater rocket love
Exactly what I'm searching for
You're brave enough to go
Tell me so...

Say you'll go to Nirvana
Will you leave Samsara?
In the words of Dhammapada
Who will lead? Who will follow?

Our love will sail in this ark
The world could end outside our window
Let's find forever
And write our names in fire on each other's hearts

Love is not a fantasy
A haiku written in Japanese
A word too often used but not believed
Witness the interaction of
The flood, the sea, the sky, the dove
Time erodes the shore but not our love

This very aesthetic poem describes two lovers who have this love that is unreachable. What makes this poem very unique form the rest of Monae’s poems listed here is that it has several allusions and history references. In the first stanza, love as described as something that one cannot reach. When Monae says “rarely painted masterpiece,” “few people go or ever know,” and “underwater rocket love,” I understood the message that love is a sacred feeling that takes a deep understanding to know. In the second stanza, she describes places that no human could reach to which represent that love is not a feeling that is easily found. In Buddhism, nirvana is an elevated state where a human being has no sufferings, physical or mental desires, and no sense of self; they have reached a place where there is no more death or rebirth. Using nirvana to describe love showed me that love is not in a state of causal desire but rather an unending internal feeling that will never die. Samsara (also part of Buddhism) is the constant cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This also displays love as an unending feeling. And Dhammapada is a sacred text in Buddhism full of Buddha's sayings. Also, the sound of this poem very significant because it was a soft, fluffy sound (even the song does). It has several assonances in lines of the poem. For example: “Love is such a novelty” and “A rarely painted masterpiece” and “The world could end outside our window.” These soft sounds structure the poem greatly to ultimately give the poem a quiescent, mellow mood.
Finally, in the third stanza, the contrast between “haiku” and “the flood, the sea, the sky,” and “the dove” continues to emphasize how incomparable love is to the earthly things in life. This beautiful poem again just paints a clear picture of what love is and holds this feeling and emotion on a high pedestal.