Janelle Monáe Leads The Revolution In Stirring ‘Turntables’ Video

Janelle Monáe Leads The Revolution In Stirring ‘Turntables’ Video



    <section>"We are in the middle of a revolution right? What&rsquo;s a revolution without a song and a song without a revolution."
    That's the question the Grammy-winning artist Janelle Mon&aacute;e posed to&nbsp;<em>Entertainment Weekly</em>&nbsp;when describing her latest single, "Turntables." The song was released on&nbsp;and flips between cleverly rapped lines about "liberation, elevation, education" and a harmonic refrain with clear gospel influences. It's Mon&aacute;e's take on a contemporary protest song, a call for a political sea change, in the vein of, say, Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" or Public Enemy's "Fight the Power."
    <img data-sharable="{" data- data-src="https://mtv.mtvnimages.com/uri/mgid:file:http:shared:mtv.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/jm_turn_final-1600185934.jpg?quality=.8&amp;height=800&amp;width=800" src="https://mtv.mtvnimages.com/uri/mgid:file:http:shared:mtv.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/jm_turn_final-1600185934.jpg?quality=.8&amp;height=1&amp;width=1" type=""><span>Courtesy of Atlantic Records</span>

And on Tuesday (September), Monáe released a moving music video — or, as she calls it, an emotion picture — that solidified that message. The visual opens and closes with the singer walking along the beach in a beige trench coat and military cap. At times, she can be seen singing into a retro microphone before an American flag; in others, she moves through staged breakfast scenes, with a family reading through newspaper headlines as they mouth her lyrics. The visual flashes through archival and contemporary footage depicting inspirational figures past and present: Where one scene shows the model and activist Jillian Mercado at a photo shoot, another depicts a conversation with lifelong activist Angela Davis.
What rings true without is a hopeful cry for change and for equality, and a recognition of those who have been leading that fight for decades. Monáe wrote “Turntables” for the new Amazon Studios documentary, All In: The Fight for Democracy, that shines a light on voter suppression, particularly through the lens of Stacey Abrams’s failed bid for the Georgia governorship. “Right now, I am focused on turning the election in our favor,” Monáe told Entertainment Weekly, “and I hope this song can inspire those who are on the ground doing the work.”

                <li>Janelle Mon&aacute;e</li>

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