Audio: Janelle Monáe Flexes An Electric Ratchet Femme Riot With 'Yoga'


Olivia Newton-John wanted to hear the body talk in "Physical" while Millie Jackson taught us how to properly "Sexercise" (with Kylie Minogue's reiteration), and now Janelle Monáe has got a "new workout plan" as she spices up her chi with the electric ratchet-ness of "Yoga".

Geared for Wondaland Records' upcoming compilation album, Eephus, Monáe slings some serious sweat and sass as she flexes a kinetic kick of ratchet trap beats and pulsating wit, blending it all into the froth of her unique electric lady funk formula. Wondaland co-hort Jidenna also dives in and ribs a few bars, not infringing in the least on Monáe's sexual bend-and-snap. It's a grower for sure, as rhythmically, it's got a hot dropping beat that is right for werking your twerk, but is frivolous fun when you compare it to the rest of Monáe's usual, genre-twisting musical repertoire. While I'm not that impress with it (like I said, it's a grower...), I understand this changing of the guard, as not every song Monáe does should be as politically just as "Cold War" or as sonically complex like "BaBopByeYa", and if anybody was actively listening to 2013's Electric Lady, she was dismantling the android asexual crown all up in that set ("Primetime" anybody?) --- this is just natural course.

Monáe can be on-trend, and still maintain a sense of herself, and she does this quite well on "Yoga", as she rips out pages of the the ratchet rule book and puts her own stank on it, confirming her own self-possession. Just listen closer to the lyrics, Monáe --- you tricky little minx --- snaps out empowering lyrical after empowering lyrical, urging her fellow electric ladies to get their thrust on, owning in full that she's her "own private dancer" and to "get off of her areola" about it.

Namaste.

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