The song that I am doing for this podcast project is Americans by Janelle Monae. This is song is endlessly intriguing to me in viewing it as a protest song. The main reason for this is because every time that I listen to this song, I gather new information about the messaging that Monae was going for. I believe that this is the case because of the dichotomy she uses in the lyrics. As discussed in my first post, Monae uses the songs structure to both promote her protest ideas and to poke fun at the ideas of conservatives in America. What Janelle Monae is protesting against comes through analyzing the lyrics. She never explicitly says like racism is bad upfront, so digging deep through the lyrics is a must. In the first verse, she focuses on spotlighting topics like police brutality, mass shootings, and the unfair criminal justice system. Other protest topics that are brought up by Monae in the verses of song include the gender pay gap and the idea of color blindness. Another part of the song that explicitly falls under protest is the vocal clip of Reverend Dr. Sean McMillan that plays towards the end of the song. This spoken bridge takes Monae’s ideas and adds to them. As for where this song will lead me in terms of research, I think it will teach me a lot about Monae’s perspective of being a black, queer, woman living in America. Beyond that, I will learn more about the individual movements and events that she makes reference to in her verses. Americans is a song that could only have been made in the current time that we live in. This is because it is a clear response to the rise of Trump, the things he says to minorities, and the bridge/pre-chorus are parodying a supporter of his. Ever since I first heard this song while listening to her 2018 album Dirty Computer, Americans is a song that I have thought a lot about and I am glad I am having the opportunity to analyze it through the lens of protest. I have no concerns about getting sick of this song because I like the Prince influence and electronic production that permeates through the song. Stepping away from production and moving on to lyrics, I will not get sick of the relevant messages throughout the song because they are things that need to be said and this song does that beautifully. I do not have any concerns regarding this song and this project because I think it is a fascinating piece of protest music due to its unique structure, relevant social critiques, and the time it was released.

Listen to Americans by Janelle MonaeĀ here