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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Dish Nation
Dish Nation

By Amber Ryland


Janelle Monáe and the first artist to come out on her Wonderland Records label, Jidenna, dropped by the Dish Nation studios in Atlanta to chat about everything from taking selfies, their new singles, women respecting themselves and what it means to be a ‘classic man.’

But first, here’s a fun fact you may not have realized about Janelle — she almost always dresses in black and white, and here’s why.

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“The black and white does represent the working class, and it keeps me connected to people like my mother who was a janitor, my father who was a trash man, and we come up people turning nothing into something,” she explained.

“That’s what I come from, and so it’s a constant reminder and celebration. Because if we didn’t have those people working and cleaning and doing these things we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs, right?”

Last month an Internet troll gave Janelle crap for her menswear style on the red carpets and she famously tweeted back, “Sit down. I’m not for male consumption.”

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Janelle explained how she felt about it like this:

“Keep it short and to the point. Actually, I laughed when I first read it. What does that mean? You’re too damn soulful, what does that mean? I think the thing that we struggle with as women, is this constant notion that what we do is always to catch male attention and to be adored by men or to be sexy,” she said.

“When I make a decision to show my skin or wear a suit it’s because I’m saying I’m a woman, I’m in control of my body, I’m owning what it is that I want to do, and I want to be respected. Don’t get it twisted.”

Speaking of class, Jidenna’s first single is called “Classic Man,” so we had to ask him exactly what makes a classic man.

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“I think a classic man is a neighborhood gentleman who everyone knows and respects,” he said.

“He cares for people outside of his own blood, and his charm is a necessary evil to both his lovers and his enemies.”

“You don’t necessarily have to wear a three-piece suite to be considered a classic man,” Janelle pointed out, adding that our very own Rickey Smiley is a classic man!

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“I think it’s more so about the values.”

Janelle’s new song “Yoga” featuring Jidenna was just released in March and you can check it out below:


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