September 18, 2013


Janelle Monae Says "Q.U.E.E.N." Is for the "Ostracized & Marginalized"

Atlanta R&B whiz Janelle Monae scored her highest-charting album yet with The Electric Lady, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 this week. The album was led by the funky single "Q.U.E.E.N.," a title that stands for much more than just a powerful female.

"'Q.U.E.E.N.' definitely is an acronym," Monae explains during an interview at Fuse HQ. "It's for those who are marginalized." She says the "Q" represents the queer community, the "U" for the untouchables, the "E" for emigrants, the second "E" for the excommunicated and the "N" for those labeled as negroid. 

"It's for everyone who's felt ostracized," she adds. "I wanted to create something for people who feel like they want to give up because they're not accepted by society."

While the 27-year-old closes the soul track with a fiery rap section ("March to the streets / Cause I'm willing and I'm able / Categorize me / I defy every label!"), Monae says she's hesitant to call herself a rapper. Or even a singer for that matter.

"I just like to communicate," she says. "If the lyrics call for something more urgent, which that rap did, then I'll take that route. I wanted to make sure, just in case, if anyone had any questions about what this song was about that I was able to bring it home with the message."

In the full interview Monae also talks about working with Erykah Badu and filming the track's music video. Watch above. And in case you missed it, check out the full "Q.U.E.E.N" video below.