"Q.U.E.E.N."

"Am I a freak for getting down?" asks Janelle Monáe on this first track from her second LP, The Electric Lady. No, girl, not when the music is this tight. An anthem of self-determination with a funkadelicious bass line, it downshifts into soul jazz midway through, with Erykah offering Badu-ist perspective ("Booty don't lie!"). Then Monáe transforms into a superhero MC to take it home. "Categorize me, I defy every label," she declares. And she does.

From The Archives Issue 1183: May 23, 2013
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