The Best Music You’ve Never Heard: Janelle Monáe’s BaBopByeYa

Note: This was originally posted in 2011, but I felt compelled to update this and publish as a new post. I LOVE this song, and I want everyone else to love it too. Simply put, this album (along with Quadron’s self-titled debut and the Internet’s Purple Naked Ladies Bonus EP)1 and renewed my hope in R&B.

Original Post (with small updates and new footnotes) – July 11, 2011:

janelle monaeI’ll admit it; I was late to the Janelle Monáe train. When she released “Tightrope” in early 2010, I was like “ehh”. Fortunately, the good people at Soulbounce got it right, and covered Monáe in their “End of 2010” posts. I checked out a few of her tunes, realized what I was missing, and headed straight to the iTunes store to get a copy of The ArchAndroid.

I remember being physically moved by the romanticism of “Say You Go”; the majestic nature “Suite II Overture”; the old school vibe of “Locked Inside“. My kids and I danced2 to “Tightrope” every weekend. Those songs had regular recurrences on my iPod playlists3. For some reason, I was lukewarm on “BaBopByeYa”. For some reason I just didn’t “get it”… it was just too complex for me.

“BaBopByeYa” is like the Moby Dick on [The ArchAndroid].
– Chuck Lightning (Producer, The ArchAndroid)

Well, I lucked on a video where Monáe and her production team explained the genesis and meaning of “BaBopByeYa”; it’s a beautiful and wonderfully magnificent song (the “Moby Dick” of The ArchAndroid). With this understanding, the song has new significance to me. The producers and song writers can do better justice than my words can; watch the video, then peep the track, my thoughts, and the lyrics after the bounce.

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