After the release of the provocative single and video “Pynk,” Janelle Monáe is back, this time with an anthem for “weird kids” titled “I Like That.”
“I Like That” is the fourth song released from Monáe’s highly anticipated fourth album Dirty Computer, following “Pynk,” the Prince-like “Make Me Feel” and lyrical banger “Django Jane.” The song’s haunting, yet bouncy production is tailor-made for its subject matter as the track goes between trap, R&B and synth-pop—it has as much musical conflict going on as the lyrical content.
Speaking of lyrical content, Monáe doesn’t just sing about adversity. As Billboard points out, she tells a story about trying to stick out and not blend in with the crowd. The lyrics will connect with anyone who has ever felt like the freak amongst the “normal” kids. Monáe references super girl group TLC’s blockbuster CrazySexyCool as she croons, “A little crazy, little sexy, little cool / Little rough around the edges, but I keep it smooth / I’m always left of center and that’s right where I belong / I’m the random minor note you hear in major songs.” But her bridge is where everything really comes together as Monáe spits, “I remember when you called me weird / We were in math class third row … Cause my mama couldn’t afford new J’s / Thrift store polos was all I knew … I remember when I cut my perm out and you rated me a six / I was like damn / But even with the tears in my eyes, I knew I was the shit.” Monáe manages to tap into a side of black culture rarely ever explored—the left-of-center black kid.
With Dirty Computer’s release just around the corner, Monáe is doing a great job of feeding fans’ musical appetites with these filling offerings.
Listen to “I Like That” below, plus Paste Cloud audio from a 2009 Monae performance.