“The Power of PYNK // Logging Off” by Vanessa Maki

“Pynk, like the lips around your… maybe Pynk, like the skin that’s under… baby Pynk, where it’s deepest inside… crazy Pynk beyond forest and thighs” – Janelle Monae   Much like the vast majority of Janelle’s work – “PYNK” was radical in the most unapologetic way.  The music video is most importantly the most controversial aspect of the song. Just listening to the song isn’t necessarily enough, so you have to watch the music video. The most simplified description of this song is that it’s about vaginas.  It’s about being bold about having one (if you happen to). All of … Continue reading “The Power of PYNK // Logging Off” by Vanessa Maki

“Black Girl Magic, They Really Can’t Stand It” by Vanessa Maki

“Remember when they used to say I look too mannish Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it” – Janelle Monae Janelle doesn’t just wear many hats in a literal sense but also in a figurative one. In “Django Jane,” she raps about women’s rights – especially black women’s rights, which is undoubtedly a different speed than what we’re used to. Mainstream rap doesn’t always offer this type of truth spitting. While some people just want mindless music – Janelle’s not here to give you that. Just like the whole of Dirty Computer she’s digging deeper and deeper into issues that you might … Continue reading “Black Girl Magic, They Really Can’t Stand It” by Vanessa Maki

“Screwed: A Politically Charged Party Anthem” by Vanessa Maki

The word “screwed” is commonly used as a sexual term, or to describe a difficult situation. Think of the amount of times you’ve heard the term used interchangeably. With the fifth track on “Dirty Computer” Janelle and Zoe utilize both meanings. In the world we live in there’s always been a looming of disgust towards sexual expression. Not to mention sexual freedom (especially when it pertains to marginalized bodies). And the government doesn’t make it all that easy either. Nor does Trump being in office. People like him want to set the world back and make people scared that it’ll … Continue reading “Screwed: A Politically Charged Party Anthem” by Vanessa Maki

“Young, Black, Wild & Free is the Dream” by Vanessa Maki

  Unlike a lot of black artists, Janelle has no problem being unapologetic about her blackness. She doesn’t dismiss her experiences as a black woman or make light of them. Nor does she water down the reality of what life is like for her. That’s one thing that often gets left out of the conversation in terms of Dirty Computer. Mainly that happens when non black critics of color and white critics mention the album: that Janelle is being vocal about her struggles as not only being queer but being black too. Since her identity is intersectional – it makes … Continue reading “Young, Black, Wild & Free is the Dream” by Vanessa Maki

“The Bugs Are Apparently in Me” by Vanessa Maki

The definition of a “dirty computer” is very much similar to what Janelle’s description happens to be. Everyone can come up with their own definition, of course. Regardless, in the eyes of ignorance and hate, I’m a dirty computer. There’s a sense of internalized shame in being seen as someone who has corrupted files in a sense. It’s even more prominent in those of us who have grown up in religious spaces. Such as Janelle I’ve been surrounded by religious people all my life. That’s something that’s brought on a lot of resentment towards the universe. The “why couldn’t I … Continue reading “The Bugs Are Apparently in Me” by Vanessa Maki