[[quoteright:281:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_mrac77h1af1qc8it5o1_500_5289.jpg]]

[floatboxright:Influences:
+ Music/MichaelJackson, Music/StevieWonder, Music/{{Prince}}, Erykah Badu, Music/OutKast, Music/JamesBrown, Music/SunRa, Music/JimiHendrix, Creator/WaltDisney, Creator/SalvadorDali, Creator/OctaviaButler, Creator/IsaacAsimov, Franchise/JamesBond
]

->''I imagined many moons in the sky lighting the way to freedom.''
-->--'''[[RobotOrSpacemanAlterEgo Cindi Mayweather]]'''

Janelle Monáe Robinson, known professionally as Janelle Monáe, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, actress, and model. Dorn on December 1, 1985 in UsefulNotes/KansasCity, Kansas, as a child, she had always dreamed of being a performer on the stage. She left Kansas for New York to study theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. At first, Monáe aimed to become a performer on Broadway, but she changed her mind and went to music instead, feeling that music has the power to change the world. Later on, Monáe moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she met Big Boi from Music/{{Outkast}} and founded the Wondaland Arts Society. Big Boi introduced Monáe to Sean "P Diddy" Combs which led her to be signed to Bad Boy Records in 2006, and she later moved to Epic Records in 2015 forming her own label, Wondaland Records, which has since signed a number of other artists.

With few exceptions, Monáe's output is within the [[{{Afrofuturism}} Afrofuturist]] genre. All of her major releases are ConceptAlbums that address subjects such as discrimination, racism, feminism, LGBT rights and self-liberation using futuristic sci-fi settings. ''The Chase'', ''The [=ArchAndroid=]'' and ''The Electric Lady'' tell the story of the futuristic dystopia of Metropolis, starring Cindi Mayweather, a [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots popular musician android]] and [[SuperPrototype prototype]] for the equally popular, mass-produced Alpha Platinum 3000 droid model. Cindi falls in love with a human named Anthony Greendown and finds a bounty placed on her head as a result. Her album ''Dirty Computer'' and its accompanying film (or "emotion picture") tells a different narrative but with similar themes, starring [[AuthorAvatar Jane 57821]] (played by Monáe) who rebels with her lovers Zen and Ché against the violently conformist expectations of a totalitarian society.

She has also had a successful acting career, including acclaimed roles in ''Film/{{Moonlight}}'' and ''Film/HiddenFigures''.

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!!Discography:
* ''The Audition'' (2003) [[note]]A self-published release from back before Monáe founded the Wondaland Arts Society. It has not been re-released under her label.[[/note]]
* ''Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase)'' (2008)
* ''The [=ArchAndroid=] (Suites II and III)'' (2010)
* ''The Electric Lady (Suites IV & V)'' (2013)
* ''Dirty Computer'' (2018)

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!! Videography:
* "Many Moons" (2008)
* "Tightrope" (2010)
* "Cold War" (2010)
* "We Are Young" (featured with {{Music/Fun}}) (2012)
* "Q.U.E.E.N." (2013)
* "Dance Apocalyptic" (2013)
* "[=PrimeTime=]" (featuring Miguel) (2013)
* "Electric Lady" (2014)
* "Yoga" (featuring Jidenna) (2015)
* "Venus Fly" (featured with Music/{{Grimes}}) (2017)
* "Make Me Feel" (2018)
* "Django Jane" (2018)
* "PYNK" (2018)
* "I Like That" (2018)

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!! Filmography:
* ''WesternAnimation/Rio2'' (2014) as Dr. Monae (voice)
* ''Film/{{Moonlight|2016}}'' (2016) as Teresa
* ''Film/HiddenFigures'' (2016) as Mary Jackson
* ''The Women of Marwen'' (2018) as Julie

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!!The tropes that apply to Janelle Monáe:

* AbortedArc: Instead of consisting of the sixth and seventh suites of the "Metropolis" series, ''Dirty Computer'' drops all references to Cindi Mayweather and focuses on a new alter ego called Jane.
* AdvertisedExtra: She is credited as a feature on {{Music/Fun}}'s "We Are Young", but she sings only 4 lines that are almost obscured by the background vocals. She is more noticeably featured in the video, but she only appears for about 20 seconds.
* {{Afrofuturism}}: Uses futuristic and android imagery to discuss contemporary issues faced by the African-American community.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: "57821" describes Anthony looking for Cindi until "his feet became bloody and tired".
* AllPartOfTheShow: The only people that suspect something is wrong when Cindi has a seizure in the "Many Moons" video are Lady Maestra and 6ix Savage.
* AllThereInTheManual: The [[http://flash.atlrec.com/janellemonae/dance_apocalyptic_emotion_picture_treatment.pdf full story of Dance Apocalyptic.]]
* AlterEgoActing: Janelle Monáe's character, Cindi Mayweather, not to mention her many sisters and various other characters she plays in videos.
* AmbiguouslyBi: Due to the bisexual themes in much of her work, earlier on in her career, Monae was repeatedly questioned about her sexuality, and never gave a firm answer, instead saying that both women and men are "wonderful", and that she "only date[s] androids, because they donít cheat on you". Averted as of 2018, after she publicly came out as pansexual.
-->''"I keep my personal life very much to myself. I want everybody to focus on my music. I also donít want to let anybody down. I want women to still be attracted to me. Go get my album! I want men to still be attracted to me so I have to be political in this. So I canít really tell yíall!"''
* AmbiguouslyHuman: Cindi Mayweather. She is very human-like, despite being an android.
* ArcNumber: 57821, which is Cindi's serial number. It also appears as Monáe patient number at the Palace of the Dogs Asylum in the "Tightrope" video, and is used as the title of a song on ''The [=ArchAndroid=]''.
** The number reappears in the ''Dirty Computer'' emotion picture as Janelle's patient number in the cleansing house.
* AxCrazy: Her song "Come Alive" plays this trope straight.
* BadassCape: Appears frequently in her live performances.
* {{Bifauxnen}}: In her Archandroid days, at least. She adopts a more conventionally feminine look for her singles after "Q.U.E.E.N.".
* BiTheWay:
** While Cindi's two primary partners are men, she also has a lesbian encounter in "Givin' 'Em What They Love" and expresses attraction to a woman named Mary, possibly Blueberry Mary from "Mushrooms and Roses".
** In a 2018 ''Rolling Stone'' interview, [[https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/cover-story-janelle-monae-prince-new-lp-her-sexuality-w519523 Janelle herself came out as pansexual]].
* BountyHunter: The Metropolis government sends several after Cindi.
* BlackCloak: The Punk Prophets and the guards at the Palace of the Dogs Asylum.
* ButNowIMustGo: Near the end of "[=BaBopByeYa=]".
-->''I see beyond tomorrow\\
This life of strife and sorrow\\
My freedom calls and I must go!''
* TheCameo: The "Many Moons" video features appearances by Big Boi as Sir Luscious Leftfoot and Deep Cotton as the Punk Prophets; both of these artists are featured on songs in ''The [=ArchAndroid=]''.
* ChainsawGood
-->''The droid control marshals are full of fun rules today--no phasers, only chainsaws and electro-daggers!''
* TheChosenOne: Cindi is the [=ArchAndroid=], [[JigsawPuzzlePlot whatever that means]].
* CloudCuckooLander: Janelle claims to be a time traveller, and other such whimsical antics.
* ConceptAlbum: From the very beginning, it seems. ''The Audition'' generally doesn't adhere to the concept, but "Metropolis", for example, has ties to the Cindi Mayweather plot.
* CoolShades: [[http://cdn.concreteloop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/27918pcn_viper09.jpg Here you go.]]
* CostumePorn: "Many Moons" features an auction of several specialized Alpha Platinum 3000s, and as such, Monáe in several different outfits.
* CoverVersion: A cover of Creator/CharlieChaplin's "Smile" appears on ''The Chase''.
** On the Target Exclusive version of ''The Electric Lady'' is a cover of Music/TheJacksonFive's "I Want You Back".
* CozyCatastrophe: "Dance Apocalyptic" encourages the listener to "dance until the end", "laugh at the zombie in the front yard", etc.
* DancingIsSeriousBusiness: "Dance Or Die".
* DeaderThanDead: Whichever bounty hunter catches Cindi must turn her cybersoul in to the Star Commission, presumably so that this trope can be carried out.
* DoAndroidsDream: The drama track that opens ''The Chase'', "March of the Wolfmasters", indicates that androids have "cybersouls". The TropeNamer is also referenced in "Make the Bus".
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In the original script for Dance Apocalyptic, one newspaper reads: "ANDROIDS WANT YOUR JOB !"
* DoubleStandard: Her rap at the end of "Crazy, Classic, Life" discusses this in regards to race, noting that she and her white friend(s) received very different consequences for being young and rebellious:
-->''Me and you was friends, but to them, we the opposite\\
The same mistake, I'm in jail, you on top of shit\\
You living life while I'm walking around moppin' shit\\
Tech kid, backpack, now you a college kid\\
All I wanted was to break the rules like you\\
All I wanted was someone to love me too\\
But no matter where it was I always stood out\\
Black Waldo dancing with the thick brows''
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: "Dance Apocalyptic" features lyrics about "[[CozyCatastrophe dancing to the end]]" and the video is interrupted by a news broadcast reporting on various major U.S. cities being destroyed by disasters.
* EpiphanicPrison: Shown in the song "Many Moons".
-->''You're free but in your mind, your freedom's in a bind...''
* EroticEating: Done briefly with a lollipop in "Make Me Feel".
* EvilBrit: One of the two "cleaners" in the ''Dirty Computer'' emotion picture, though he's the more hesitant of the two.
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: The only clear break in ''Dirty Computer'' is between "Don't Judge Me" and "Stevie's Dream." Beyond that, this trope is in play throughout the album.
* FantasticArousal: "Wondaland" has the lines "I'm so inspired, / You touched my wires".
* FantasticRacism: Against perfectly sapient androids. "Metropolis" implies that they are also confined to a "wired side" of town, which other songs imply is underground.
* FauxAffablyEvil: The announcer in "March of the Wolfmasters" is gushingly cheerful about the bounty on Cindi's head and the fact that it's only redeemable if you kill her with "chainsaws and electro-daggers" and rip out her soul to boot.
* FirstLove: [[MeaningfulName Joey Vice]], who met Cindi Mayweather while she was working as a cyber-server.
* FreeLoveFuture: Whether or not this is true for all of Metropolis is unclear, but Cindi is implied to practice a polyamorous lifestyle. Especially within "Mushrooms and Roses".
* {{Foreshadowing}}: "Django Jane" includes the lines "paint the city pink" and "let the vagina have a monologue", with the following track being "PYNK", which is full of yonic imagery both in the song's lyrics and video.
* GirlinessUpgrade: Janelle is pushing the limits of her black and white aesthetic. She often wears more traditionally feminine clothing, always in black and white, and changed her once nude lipstick color to a bright red. Compare her [[http://stupiddope.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/tumblr_m5ms7c4pzm1qbiu5fo1_500.jpg Archandroid era style]] to [[http://cdn.cnwimg.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Janelle-Monae.jpg her Electric Lady style]].
* HotterAndSexier: ''Dirty Computer'' aims for a raw, sensual atmosphere by abandoning the sanitized "Cindi" android persona.
* IncrediblyLongNote: The end of "Come Alive". Notable not only for its length (20 seconds) but how high the note is.
* InsistentTerminology: She consistently refers to her music videos - up and including ''Dirty Computer'''s 45-minute film - as "[[{{Pun}} emotion pictures]]".
* IntercourseWithYou: "Wondaland", which makes reference to [[FantasticArousal touching of wires]] and leaving underpants somewhere.
** A number of songs from ''Dirty Computer'', such as "Take a Byte", "Screwed", "PYNK", "Make Me Feel", and "Don't Judge Me", are partly or entirely based around this.
* InterspeciesRomance: Central to the plot is the romance between Cindi Mayweather, an android, and Anthony Greendown, a human.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Very little of the plot has been explicitly shown.
* TheLancer: Kellindo Parker' many guitar solos on The Archandroid and The Electric Lady firmly establish him as her foil.
* LimitedWardrobe: The reason why she dresses up in a tuxedo all of the time? She considers it her uniform, and it represents the working people. Since ''The Electric Lady'' and her GirlinessUpgrade, this is mostly averted, though she brings the suit back at times, like the video for "Django Jane".
* LoudnessWar: Refreshingly averted. Just about every song is produced with meticulous detail, containing multiple layers of instrumentation and vocal touches that require many listens to catch all the nuances. As such, the dynamics have never gone below a DR of 7, and average between 9 and 10.
* LysistrataGambit: In an [[https://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/a26335/fresh-faces-2017/ interview]] with Marie Claire, she suggested that women do this to combat men's sexism, though she later clarified that she wasn't being entirely literal.
-->"''People have to start respecting the vagina. Until every man is fighting for our rights, we should consider stopping having sex. I love men. But evil men? I will not tolerate that. You don't deserve to be in my presence.''"
** She revisits this idea in "Django Jane" (though WordOfGod is that there are multiple ways to [[https://genius.com/13925343 interpret]] this lyric):
--->''We gon' start a motherfuckin' pussy riot\\
Or we gon' have to put 'em on a pussy diet''
* TheMovieBuff: Janelle has an extensive knowledge of cinema, as shown in "Tightrope" which references ''Meshes of the Afternoon'', and "Q.U.E.E.N", which references ''Qui êtes vous, Polly Magoo ?''.
* NeatFreak: Her perfectionism extends beyond the realms of music and performance, as anyone can see from her appearance, and she dislikes mess in general.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: The particular emphasis varies from song to song, but for the most part the music is a melting pot of soul, funk, R and B, progressive rock, rap, psychedelia, dance pop, and Broadway-influenced classical music.
* NewSoundAlbum: Inverted in that ''The Chase'' (and later work) is very different from her first album ''The Audition,'' which had a more conventional R&B/pop sound.
* NiceHat: She wears a white hat from time to time. The "Many Moons" video features her in equestrian helmets and top hats. And let's not get started on the one she wears in the [[http://i.imgur.com/1VSFS.jpg ArchAndroid cover]].
** The particular Nice Hat from the Archandroid cover even has lore behind it. Apparently, it's the [[CoolCrown Archandroid's Crown]], a {{magitek}} headdress built by a [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot half-human, half-elf, mystical genius scientist]] by the name of [[AwesomeMcCoolname Zoman Ignatius]], who built it after it had been prophesied to be worn by the Archandroid in the future. Unfortunately, it was stolen many years later, and eventually lost after it was whisked away into the underground. Replicas have been popping up ever since, and one of them just happened to fall into the hands of [[BreakingTheFourthWall Janelle Monae in our time.]]
* NonAppearingTitle: Several examples. Notably, "Many Moons" plays it straight as a standalone song, but the music video provides the TitleDrop used in the page quote.
* TheOner: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqmORiHNtN4 "Cold War"]] is a single long take of Janelle's face as she lip-syncs to the song.
* OddCouple: With Joey Vice. He's a punk, and she has the look and poise of a classic movie star.
* OpeningNarration: Some of her concert performances open with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtX6PfBtd10 one]], [[{{Troperiffic}} highly reminiscent]] of the narration of [[Literature/{{Dune}} Princess Irulan]].
* PerformanceVideo:
** "Many Moons", although it still fits into the ''Metropolis'' concept.
** "Dance Apocalyptic" features Monáe performing as the Electric Lady on an ''Series/AmericanBandstand'' pastiche.
* {{Polyamory}}: In ''Dirty Computer,'' protagonist Jane has feelings for both Zen and Che. Both of them appear to be fine with this.
* {{Prequel}}: The Electric Lady is the prequel to the Metropolis saga.
* PromotedFangirl: ''The Electric Lady'' sees her performing alongside some of her influences, including Erykah Badu and Music/{{Prince}}. The Purple One was involved in the early development of ''Dirty Computer'', too, before his death--"Make Me Feel", for example, basically ''is'' a Prince song.
* ProtestSong: "Mr. President", which is mainly about putting education over warfare.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: "Say You'll Go" has a few bars of Debussy's "''Clair de Lune''" on it.
* PunBasedTitle: "Screwed" can be taken both in a negative (as in, we've been ruined) and a positive sense (let's have sex as a form of protest).
* RagsToRiches: This is noteworthy as Janelle Monae makes a point to use this part of her story to inspire both her fans and her aesthetic: her mother was a janitor, her father was a garbage truck driver who struggled with drug addiction, and to go to Conservatory she spent time working with her mother. While producing The Audition, she was working at Office Depot, and incidentally, got fired for messaging fans on store computers.
* RepurposedPopSong: "Tightrope" was used in a number of commercials for the Chevrolet Cruze.
* RoboFamily: The prerelease for ''The Electric Lady'' reveals that Cindi has five sisters, all of them Alpha Platinum 3000s. Exactly what "sister" means when the [=AP3000=] is a mass production model has yet to be revealed.
* {{Robosexual}}: In the past the only clues about her sexuality Monae revealed were along the lines of a 2011 Evening Standard interview where she stated "I only date androids", though she clarified, sort of, that 'android' was a metaphor for "the new 'other'."
* RobotGirl: Cindi Mayweather.
** {{Subverted}} in the ''Dirty Computer'' emotion picture: people are called "computers", but they appear to just be biological humans whose minds are manipulated like a hard disk drive.
* RuleOfCool: Several aspects of her aesthetic. For example, the "Q.U.E.E.N." video features a turntable whose needle is a golden canine tooth on a white skull.
* ScienceFantasy: The setting is an ultra-futuristic city full of RidiculouslyHumanRobots, but magic is apparently present.
* SesameStreetCred: Appeared on ''Series/SesameStreet'' itself with a motivational song called "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLeUvZvuvAs The Power Of Yet]]."
* SecondLove: Anthony Greendown turned out to be this for Cindi Mayweather.
* ShoutOut:
** Electric sheep are mentioned in "Faster" and "Q.U.E.E.N.", and the story's full title, ''Literature/DoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheep'', is mentioned in "Make the Bus".
** "Metropolis" mentions searching for [[Literature/ParadiseLost paradise found]].
** The music video for "Tightrope" features two cloaked figures with flat mirrors as masks. These same figures appeared in Maya Deren's classic 1940 avant garde film "Meshes of the Afternoon."
** The opening lines of "Dance Apocalyptic" are a reference to "Bands-A-Make-Her-Dance" by Juicy J.
** "Django Jane" is full of these, with shout-outs to Main/AliceInWonderland, Pussy Riot, Creator/VincentVanGogh Television/HowToGetAwayWithMurder and Creator/ViolaDavis, {{Franchise/Transformers}}, Music/BobMarley's "I Shot the Sheriff", Theatre/TheVaginaMonologues, and, of course, Film/DjangoUnchained.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVSCynicism: Very, very much so on the idealistic end, though done [[AWorldHalfFull not without acknowledging the world's many problems.]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Is it Cindi or Cindy? Official sources lean heavily toward the former.
* StarCrossedLovers: Cindi and Anthony; in Metropolis, an android who falls in love with a human faces the death penalty, whether they act on their feelings or not. It's implied that Anthony is being hunted down as well. This trope is lampshaded in "March of the Wolfmasters", where Cindi is introduced as "a new star-crossed winner in our Heartbreak Sweepstakes."
* TheStinger: The ''Dirty Computer'' emotion picture ends on what looks like a DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Jane 57821 is completely cleansed and becomes another "Mary Apple" to help with Ché's cleansing process.]] However, just after the credits, we are treated to a scene of [[spoiler:Xen, having regained her individuality, tossing two gas masks to Ché and Jane - who has successfully clung to her memories and dreams -, gassing the whole facility with Nevermind, and the three of them escaping.]]
* TheStoic: She certainly comes across as so in interviews, but during performances she is far more upbeat, and has at least twice been moved to tears on camera.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Averted, which is uncommon for R&B singers.
-->''[[LampshadeHanging T-t-t-talkin' bout, "Why don't she change her clothes?"]] Well, they ain't seem to mind the last THREE times I posed in Vogue!!''
* SuperPrototype: Cindi is the prototype for her line and appears to have powers that later models don't.
* TearJerker: {{Invoked}}; Monáe tears up in the "Cold War" video.
* TimePolice: The conceit for the "Q.U.E.E.N." video is that Monáe has been arrested by the Time Council and placed in a museum full of time-frozen musical revolutionaries, but is freed by some young freedom fighters.
* TrilogyCreep: The covers of ''The Chase'' and ''The [=ArchAndroid=]'' imply that the Metropolis saga was planned to be four suites long. However, ''The Electric Lady'' is comprised of suites IV ''and'' V, and its album cover implies that the story will now reach at least seven suites.
* VisualPun: In "Django Jane", after she says the line "Let the vagina have a monologue", she appears rapping the next line reflected in a mirror held over a woman's crotch.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: The voice of the announcer in "March of the Wolfmasters" is occasionally overlaid with a deep, robotic voice, lending her this effect. It's also present in the "I love you, and I won't take no for an answer" line in "Violet Stars Happy Hunting!".
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: The Punk Prophets. Deep Cotton wear plague doctor masks while the rest of the prophets wear lantern-jawed masks.
* AWildRapperAppears: "Q.U.E.E.N." ends with a rap verse from Monáe.
* TheWonka: Certainly an eccentric whimsical character, and yet with a stern authoritative demeanor that gives her an appearance of magic power. While producing The Audition, she ran amok on AUC, performing for students and rallying them around certain messages, for example that college was a waste of money and they should look for what truly made them passionate.
* WretchedHive: Metropolis seems to be one, based on all the crimelords present at the robot auction shown in the "Many Moons" video.
* {{Yandere}}: Cindi, if a line in "Violet Stars Happy Hunting!" that goes "I love you, and I won't take no for an answer" is to be taken seriously.
* YourCheatingHeart: In "It's Code", [[MeaningfulName Joey Vice]] has done this. Cindi apparently blames herself for pushing him into the other woman's arms.
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