As someone who purchased Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer album, I was pretty disappointed when I discovered that the visual–or as she calls it, the Emotional Picture–was not included. I was even more disappointed when I missed the original airing and re-air on BET. But I should have known that Ms. Monáe had my back because she has put the whole thing on YouTube for all her fans to enjoy.
If you’ve heard the album then you know what to expect from this in terms of music (and if you haven’t…why not?). The late, great Purple One worked with her on several tracks on the album and you can hear his distinct style in a lot of places. You can see his influence on the visual aspect as well as there are several sections that reminded me of Grafitti Bridge and Under The Cherry Moon. But there is that Afro-Futuristic aspect that is so integral to Monáe’s personal style as an artist. There are messages in all the images that are just as much about her personal journey of coming out as they are about being a person who doesn’t feel like they fit. The fact that there is a story line that plays out for us just raises the ways you can enjoy this to another level and makes this something that can be interpreted but also something that has a distinct message it wants to get across.
This is something that everyone needs to see at least once. It will, at the very least, make you think and, quite possibly, make you cry. Only the best art can do that.
As for album love, my personal favorite tracks are Take A Byte, Django Jane, and I Like That.