When she paid homage to James Brown in her 2010 hit "Tightrope," viewers got to see that she was more than just a great voice.
From a glance, the Kansas native resembles both rapper/singer Lauryn Hill and reality cast member "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" Rasheeda. She demands respect in the music industry similar to the way Lauryn Hill (in her "Miseducation" days) does. But she has a girl-next-door, fun-loving appeal a lot like Rasheeda. (Even if you don't like Rasheeda's rap lyrics, no one can deny she's been one of the calmest and most respectful artists on the reality series ever.)
However, Janelle Monae's funk/singing demeanor may remind people of don't-look-her-in-the-eyes Erykah Badu. Although Erykah Badu's hip-hop lyricism is still underrated, Janelle Monae is more likely to pull a Missy Elliott, testing the waters to remind her audience, "I rap, too. Just so you know."
Fans of these other artists may see these small semblances, but Janelle Monae is her own artist. She took a bit of everybody's spices from the music cookbook, made a meal, liked it OK, but then decided it needed a few secret ingredients. What her fans see is the cook's "special" on a brand new menu. This is probably what made her catch the attention of Prince.
Women with natural and relaxed hair admire her hairstyles and fashion. It doesn't hurt that she's so quick to give a girl power salute whenever possible. And even in a tuxedo and hair swooped up into a pompadour, fellas still take notice of her flawless frame.
Hot 97's Old Man Ebro blatantly flirted with her during a recent interview and even seemed smitten by her toes.
She had no problem wooing TV talk show legend Arsenio Hall on "The Arsenio Hall Show," singing a capella and almost making him forget to get an answer to his question.
Charlamagne Tha God from The Breakfast Club, who is usually creepy to any good-looking women on the show, was uncharacteristically calmer.
He called Janelle Monae, "one of the most beautiful women in the world, I think. I love her face."
R&B singer Mario specifically highlighted how much he's attracted to her when asked what celebrities he's physically attracted to.
"Janelle Monae, she's more my style," said Mario during an interview on Sway's Universe. "I respect her. She's a beautiful woman. When a woman dresses up like that all the time when those, at some point, those clothes come off. It's like, I know what that is already. If she ever comes out and does a Vogue or something, I think everybody's gone be shocked."
Instead of Vogue, Janelle Monae is one of the newest faces for Cover Girl. While that may be no surprise, what may be exciting to both men and women is to see her let loose and (temporarily?) take off the tuxedo in her latest video "Electric Lady."
She ditched the suit for a college logo jacket, fitted pants and a crop top, but in usual Janelle Monae style, she still kept it tasteful and funky.
Check out her latest single (above). Even rapper T.I. couldn't help but smile and get his two-step on with the "electric lady." And check out her girl power salute to other female artists, including cameos from T-Boz of TLC, Estelle, Esperanza, Monica and Kimbra.
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