Janelle Monae – Tightrope

Artist; Janelle Monae
Song; Tightrope
Genre; Funk, Soul, Pop,
Album; The Arch Android
Date; Aug 22, 2011
Favorite Lyric; “I tip on alligators, and little rattle snakers,/ But I’m another flavor, Something like a terminator”

I’ve been a fan of the incredible Miss Monae ever since her debut EP. Not many artists are as visionary as she is. Plus, her funky fusion of soul, jazz, rock, pop, hip-hop, and whatever else she can grab a hold of is simply captivating. “Tightrope” is her biggest hit, and it is Monday’s song of the day!

A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the American Idols perform live on their tour. “Tightrope” was performed as a group performance between contestants Pia Toscano, Naima Adeadpo, Thia Megia, and Haley Reinhart. The minute I heard that bass drop, my heart started pounding with excitement. These ladies did a marvelous job with the song, but nobody can perform it the way Janelle does. Hell, nobody can PERFORM the way Janelle does! Seeing the performance served to remind me why I loved the song so much to begin with.

“Tightrope” continues with the story of Cyndi Mayweather, as she flees for her life from the Wolfmasters (out to disassemble her for falling in love with a human. If you don’t get it…your missing out.) It is during her incarceration that she begins her rise to power, leading an underground movement against her captors. However, you would never know that by listening to the lyrics. To any new listener, this would sound like a simple, fun and funky song! To the fans that know what’s going on, it’s a pivotal moment in the story.

It satisfies everyone in truly genius way, but let’s not forget the most important part of the song; its catchy, original, and fun. “Tightrope” uses some old-school funk to create a catchy song that’s both classic and contemporary. Monae’s voice delivers the style well; with sharp, staccato verses, and smooth choruses that really hook the listener. Her voice has the perfect amount of soul to really be able to sell the song in a way that not many could.

For those who haven’t experienced Janelle Monae (and I use the word “experience deliberately…her music is an experience), your missing out. Go listen to “Tightrope” right now! Open your eyes, your ears, and most importantly, your mind to this truly visionary artist. You owe it to yourself and your playlist.


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