Cultural Gutter: I Am the American Cool

Over on the Cultural Gutter, I have a three-part series — I Am the American Cool — that explores the science fiction influences on Janelle Monáe and celebrates her celebration of being different and defense of marginalized people.

I think the first time I became aware of her was a photo in a magazine. It was 2010, either leading up to or shortly after the release of her second album. “This woman,” I said, possibly out loud to the entire room, “is the coolest person in America.” Eight years later, with her fourth album having recently come out, I not only stand by that assertion; I will double down on it. Janelle Monáe is the coolest person in America…in a time when America deeply, desperately needs some cool.

Suite One:The Mechanics of Myth

Suite Two: This is a Cold War

Suite Three: I Am Not America’s Nightmare