Most revolutionary funk-soul singer of this era: Janelle Monáe or Solange? | The Tylt

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Most revolutionary funk-soul singer of this era: Janelle Monáe or Solange?
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Janelle Monáe and Solange are arguably the most revolutionary female artists of this generation, pushing the boundaries of funk and soul music—and art itself. Monáe has always presented a futuristic style in her music, but in 2018, the Smithsonian named her the most revolutionary artist of today following the release of "Dirty Computer." But Solange blessed us with her groundbreaking LP "A Seat at the Table" in 2016, which explored blackness and black womanhood. Who's the most revolutionary funk-soul singer of this era?

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Most revolutionary funk-soul singer of this era: Janelle Monáe or Solange?
#TeamJanelle
#TeamSolange
#TeamJanelle

Janelle Monáe has always brought a futuristic sound to funk and neo-soul music, but in 2018, she took it to the next level by dropping her android alter-ego, Cindi Mayweather from Metropolis. Her introspective third studio LP "Dirty Computer" explored self-love, sexuality, and womanhood. That's why Brittany Spanos for the Smithsonian named her the most revolutionary artist of today.

Every generation deserves an artist like Janelle Monáe: an out-of-the box creative who challenges both the mainstream and the underground to keep up with her futuristic vision.
With her third album, Dirty Computer, released in April, Monáe realized that the person she needed to challenge most was herself. The sprawling, pop-leaning epic that features appearances from friends (Zoë Kravitz, Grimes), heroes (Brian Wilson, Jon Brion) and heroes she can now call friends (Stevie Wonder) signaled the first time Monáe would fully shed the skin of the fictional Cindi Mayweather, the android persona whose story is explored in her previous two albums and debut EP. Now, it was time to meet Monáe: imperfections and all.
“I was really afraid for anybody to see me not at the top of my game,” she told me back in April, when I visited her Atlanta-based headquarters. She was anxious about the release of Dirty Computer, worried how people would receive her story as opposed to Mayweather’s. “But I’m at a space where my vulnerabilities and my honesty have become cooler to me,” she continued. That honesty meant opening up to her fans and the world as a queer black woman in America. “I think for a while I was trying to clean myself, trying to make myself appear perfect.” But now: “I respect the dirt. It’s about the dirt and not getting rid of it.”

Watch the music video for the girl-powered anthem "Pynk" below.

#TeamSolange

Fashion-forward and forward-thinking, Solange has blessed us with alternative sounds for years, but she broke new ground with "A Seat at the Table," a celebration and exploration of the black diaspora and black womanhood. She not only pushed the boundaries of social awareness with her music, but blended a host of musical styles, including alternative R&B, neo-soul, and funk. Mimi Valdés for Glamour shared her thoughts on Solange's impact on music, style, and society.

I feel like Solange Knowles is like the patron saint of black women. With her groundbreaking album A Seat at the Table, she created one of the most culturally significant releases in years. Tackling themes of racism, cultural appropriation, activism and empowerment, it was a bold declaration of our Blackness past and present. The record symbolized Solange’s desire to stand in her truth as an artist and reflect our collective strength and struggle. This wasn’t just entertainment; it was a dissertation on the challenges and racial microaggressions ­that people of color experience in America and beyond. And when fans began posting their own version of the cover image within hours of its release, replicating Solange’s look on social media, a movement was born.
“Solange’s music, lyrics, and being-ness encourage me and many to remember who we truly are,” says Black-ish actress ­Tracee Ellis Ross, one of the first to re-create the album cover on social media. “She has ignited and given voice to a tribe of women singing ‘This is me’ instead of ‘Look at me,’ shattering the idea that we women can only shine within the male gaze.”

Watch the music video to the self-declarative anthem "Don't Touch My Hair" below.

VOTE NOW
Most revolutionary funk-soul singer of this era: Janelle Monáe or Solange?
#TeamJanelle
#TeamJanelle
#TeamSolange
#TeamSolange
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