09/21/2013 10:05 am ET Updated Nov 21, 2013

Listen UP: Janelle Monae's Electric Lady, AKA, Buppie Music


There was an undeniable power of Janelle Monae's debut LP The ArchAndroid, an artistry and execution that overpowered cynics' inclination to balk at Janelle Monae The Package.

Let me rewind a little...

Monae's first two EPs were worthy. The Audition was auspicious. Songs like "My Favorite Nothing" and "Cloud 9" revealed a young artist with developing charisma and an ear for dynamism. It was the song "Metropolis", though, that was the harbinger of what was to come. It was a sublime ballad from a seminal talent, with pipes, writing chops...and an odd fixation on this future world of androids and cyborgs and, uh, other stuff. This was 2003. She was a kid.