Janelle Monáe Calls Kanye West's Slavery Comments 'Insensitive' & 'Disrespectful'

May 3, 2018
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Photo Credit: Brian Fagin

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By Erin Thibeau

Janelle Monáe is not here for Kanye West's antics. The "Make Me Feel" singer joined The Joe Clair Morning Show on Thursday to talk about Kanye, her new album "Dirty Computer," coming out as pansexual and her late mentor, Prince.

The endlessly impressive @janellemonae joined the @joeclairmorningshow! Tune in tomorrow at 7:20 am to hear the interview

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While Kanye has "absolutely inspired" her as an artist, Monáe takes issue with his new philosophies. If the rapper's "free thinking" comes "at the expense of the oppressed, I cant support it," she said. "Those free thoughts turn into laws." 

"For any artist to align themselves with an oppressive person is very dangerous." she continued. 

As for Kanye's recent comments on slavery being a "choice,"  she responded, "I think that that is deeply insensitive – it's disprespectful to our ancestors – to think that they would willfully want to be in shackles, or to be ripped apart from their families. He has to educate himself."

Through her own platform, Monáe wants to make sure her music reaches marginalized people, who she calls "dirty computers," including "the LGBTQIA community, minorities, black folks, women, immigrants." With her new album, she said she wanted to "create something they can feel celebrated by."

Related: Janelle Monáe Releases Music Video For 'I Like That'

On coming out as pansexual in a Rolling Stone interview, Monáe told the show there "was a lot at stake. It was important for me to be clear because representation does matter...I just look at this as part of my purpose."

"Strip away Janelle Monáe the artist," she said, "I'm a young, black, queer woman in America and, you know, I wanted the mic."

A key influence on "Dirty Computer" was her mentor, Prince. Monáe and Prince were "very close," and he was the very first person to have her debut album "The ArchAndroid."

Related: Janelle Monae Worked With Prince on Forthcoming Album 'Dirty Computer'

"He never allowed his mystery to get in the way of his mentorship, and for that I am thankful," she continued.

Watch the full Joe Clair Morning Show interview below:

Monáe performs at The Anthem in D.C. on July 20. You can win tickets when you listen to WPGC this week.

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