Wednesday, May 07, 2008
P. Diddy Campaigns for Janelle Monae in Los Angeles
(Photo by: J. Althaus)
Los Angeles, CA -- There was a seismic shift in the energy of the Hollywood Sunset Strip last night around 7 pm. Just as anticipation was building around the nail-biting democratic race several thousand miles away, the energy outside the Key Club was also peaking Tuesday night.
But the issue at hand was neither Obama, Clinton, or McCain. The people had spoken and they wanted a musical change they could believe in. Afro-Punk kids, Music Industry execs, Hollywood blondes, and the Grown & Sexy put aside their differences to align for one common cause--Janelle Monae.
And she delivered.
After being presented to the crowd with a heartfelt speech from two of her chief campaign backers, P. Diddy & Big Boi of Outkast, Janelle Monae unleashed on stage with a wildly energetic performance of Violet Stars Happy Hunting, and from there, was an introduction to the many faces of Janelle Monae. She followed with the achingly beautiful, Smile, a song in which she shines with the vocal depth and tenderness of a young Judy Garland. Sincerely Jane has a strong social message and a bass line to match, and Letting Go has a fun, bouncy nature, easily reminiscent of Michael Jackson's early work from Thriller. With her brief, but powerful set, Monae clearly addressed the underlying issues, key ingredients for any new artists' success: talent, versatility, and influential backers.
The crowd was appreciative, and cheers became more akin to a campaign rally than an artist showcase (see Monae "Imagination Inspires Nations" posters being hoisted in the crowd photo).
If Diddy was making the case to bring a change in the music industry, as he suggested in his opening speech, then the results from last night was resoundingly clear: Janelle Monae is definitely a musical candidate of change. And, without question, receives the endorsement of The Cocoa Lounge.