Django Jane — Janelle Monáe

Jane Bond. Never Jane Doe.

Yeah, yeah this is my palace, champagne in my chalice.
I got it all covered like a wedding band
Wonderland, so my alias is Alice.
1 [We gon’ start a motherfuckin’ pussy riot.
Or we gon’ have to put ’em on a pussy diet.
Look at that, I guarantee I got ’em quiet.
Look at that, I guarantee they all inspired.] 1
A-town, made it out there.
Straight out of Kansas City, yeah we made it out there.
2 [Celebrated, graduated, made it pass/fail.
Sassy, classy, Kool-Aid with the kale.
Momma was a G, she was cleanin’ hotels.
Poppa was a driver, I was workin’ retail.
Kept us in the back of the store.
We ain’t hidden no more, moonlit nigga, lit nigga.] 2

Already got a Oscar for the casa.
Runnin’ down Grammys with the family.
Prolly give a Tony to the homies.
Prolly get a Emmy dedicated to the
Highly melanated, ArchAndroid orchestrated.
Yeah, we highly melanated, ArchAndroid orchestrated.

Yeah, Gemini they still jammin’.
Box office numbers, and they doin’ outstandin’.
Runnin’ outta space in my damn bandwagon.
3 [Remember when they used to say I look too mannish?
Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it.
Y’all can’t ban it, made out like a bandit.
They been trying hard just to make us all vanish.
I suggest they put a flag on a whole ‘nother planet.] 3

4 [Jane Bond, never Jane Doe.
And I Django, never Sambo.
Black and white, yeah that’s always been my camo.
It’s lookin’ like y’all gon’ need some more ammo.
I cut ’em off, I cut ’em off, I cut ’em off like Van Gogh.
Now, pan right for the angle.
I got away with murder, no Scandal.
Cue the violins and the violas.] 4

5 [We gave you life, we gave you birth.
We gave you God, we gave you Earth.
We fem the future, don’t make it worse.
You want the world? Well, what’s it worth?] 5
Emoticons, Decepticons, and Autobots,
Who twist the plot?
Who shot the sheriff, then fled to Paris.
In the darkest hour, spoke truth to power?
Made a fandroid outta yo girlfriend.
Let’s get caught downtown in the whirlwind.
6 [And paint the city pink, paint the city pink.
And tuck the pearls in, just in case the world end.] 6
7 [And nigga, down dawg. Move back, take a seat, you were not involved.
And hit the mute button —
Let the vagina have a monologue
Mansplaining, I fold em like origami.
What’s a wave, baby? This a tsunami.
For the culture, I kamikaze.
I put my life on a life line.] 7
If she the G.O.A.T. now, would anybody doubt it?
If she the G.O.A.T. now, would anybody doubt it?
Do anybody got it? Do anybody got it?
I say anybody got it?

  1. She is talking about collective bargaining for women in terms of their bodies. It is radical.

2. Her whole upbringing in a few bars. Working class family that left Missouri for greener pastures. Janelle is comfortable with black culture, hence the reference to kool-aid. But understand that DuBoisian need for double consciousness, hence the reference to kale. Kale could also just be referring to her European ancestors, because I am sure she has some. As far as them no longer being hidden, I love that she says ‘moonlit’. I think it is a reference to the ground breaking movie Moonlight that featured homosexual black males in a fashion never seen on the big screen before.

3. This is womanist Janelle at her best. For darker skinned black women in America, especially if you are a tomboy or not dedicated to the 24/7 maintenance of your appearance, you have probably been told you look like a man by someone before. Even if it was a joke. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is still being called ‘ugly’ and ‘mannish’ by Fox News pundits. But the magic black women exude in this country is still obvious. Black women are social influencers and to escape their reach, you would need a whole nother planet.

4. This section goes so hard! It’s my favorite. Ok. Janelle is asserting her womanism further here. Django Unchained is a movie featuring a rebel slave that rode around on a horse in a blue suit. Sambo is what white folks would call black men they didn’t know or have to respect. Janelle is letting you know she will be respected or she will cut you off. The reference to Van Gogh is interesting because then she says pan right, like video cameras are the new paintbrushes. Then she invokes Shonda Rhimes, the black woman responsible for the hit TV series’ Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Two masters side by side with different mediums at their disposal. Then she finishes it off with ‘cue the violins and VIOLAs’. Home girl is referencing another black woman great here, Viola Davis, the star of HTGAWM.

5. So coming off of what might be the highest bars on the album she goes inclusive. When she says ‘we gave you life…’ she is talking to all women. Women have birthed the entire world and what is that worth to men? This album is about equality.

6. Here she is giving some of that trademark feminine funk. She wrote a song for revolution. Paint the city pink. And tuck your pearls in girls, with Janelle in the lead, we going to war.

7. To me, this is such a relateable part of the song. Men are known for liking the limelight. Janelle is saying have a seat. This is her time, her show, her power. She is a fighter. This isn’t a ‘wave of feminism’ this is a fucking storm and she’s ready to go balls to the wall for equality.

I don’t dobut it. She’s the G.O.A.T. now. Lol. PAINT THE CITY PINK.

The only thing more fire than the lyrics are the visuals. Facts.


** 2. Janelle was in Hidden Figures and Moonlight. She was using both films as a play on words. Super duper clever.


Written & Edited W.D. Herstun

Janelle Monáe managed to include references to major ideologies and trends that are changing the way women interact with the world. The song is just a part of something special. It’s a great album. [Full Album Review]

curated by w.d. herstun
Washington Post on Michelle Obama
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Duboisian Double Consciousness for all television and movie references, click the person or movie for more info.

Published by W.D. Herstun

Editor-in-Chief. Curator. Dreamer. I want to bring people together, one story at a time. Sometimes, we all just need a little perspective. The arts & humanities can help us regain humanity and change the world. Believe that. Achieve that. #LetsGrow

Let Us Know What You Think!

%d bloggers like this: