As geekery, games, and comics take the helm as the “new cool”, for many life-long geeks it feels like all those “Revenge of the Nerds”-esque movies of the 80’s have finally reached their prophecy hour. Everything that was once totally lame, uncool, and like “like, gag me with a spoon” weird is stealing the spotlight. Yet, as creators and consumers of all different genres, creeds, and cool levels, we still struggle to remember that trying to fit the mold will only lead to bad imitations. Anything that’s ever had a chance at being cool or awesome or revolutionary started off super weird.
So, this is just your friendly Monday reminder to keep it weird!
And here’s a little inspiration from some gurus of weird:
#1 “Weird” literally means “Winning” in Middle English
Okay so it literally meant “having the power to control destiny,” but you get the drift. Either way, being weird= being awesome.
#2 Being weird helps you appreciate the little things.
#3 Sometimes it turns out your weird isn’t actually as weird as you thought!
This guy was just some weirdo who danced the streets of New York, now he’s started a phenomenon (and basically the coolest friggin’ health program ever on earth).
Stunning, nerdy, creative genius! Sci-fi creators should take inspiration from this hotness. Seriously, can we get a quality science fiction or fantasy TV series with a cast of leading Black characters (plural!) on a major network? And can it be this pretty…
A brand new single from Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu dropped last night… and it’s killer. Q.U.E.E.N is the first single released from Monae’s upcoming album The Electric Lady:
It’s funky, electric, and smooth – a fly combination of the two singers’ unique musical styles. Try not to move to this.
Their musical styles might be vastly different, but the lyrics touch on some of their shared experiences as Black women, as unique musical artists, and as otherworldly stylists. It’s about being weird and offbeat and oh-so-cool for it.
For both Badu and Monae, their fashion styles are as prominent and flavorful as their music. They’re known by it, it’s flashy, it’s wild, it’s weirdly so cool. They’re both fashion geeks! Stylistas who break all the rules of what it means to be fashionable.
Monae with her classy suit and tie and that hair, which she true-to-form designates “The Monae”, emphasizing her dedication to a totally personal style.
Several times the song calls on both ladies’ incomparable fashion sense to talk about bigger issues of “strangeness”…:
“They call us dirty ‘cuz we break all your rules down”…
“Say is it weird to like the way she wear her tights? And is it rude to wear my shades?”
“Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven? Say will your God accept me in my black and white? Will he approve the way I’m made? Or should I reprogram the programming and get down?…
Baby, we in tuxedo groove
Monae and E. Badu
Crazy in the black and white
to social inequality…
“Are we a lost generation of our people? Add us to equations but they’ll never make us equal. She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel. So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal? They keep us underground working hard for the greedy, But when it’s time pay they turn around and call us needy. My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti Gimme back my pyramid, I’m trying to free Kansas City.
“Even if it makes others uncomfortable I wanna love who I am Even if it makes other uncomfortable I will love who I am”
In their own individual music both women speak to all of these things, and this team-up is like a the beginnings of a Black Superheroine team! A solidarity between Black women that seems all too rare in the days of Beyonce- Minaj face-offs and Real Housewives drama.
Together Badu and Monae use their music and their fashion to bust all sorts of myths about Black women — that there’s only one way to be Black, that there is a persistent animosity between Black women, that women can’t wear suits, that Black isn’t beautiful, that Black ladies ain’t the cooolest, smoothest, funkiest game in town. You’ve had a listen, now take a look…
The Hair. The Hair!
Janelle Monae rockin’ “The Monae”
Erykah Badu unleashing her hair from her iconic hairwarp
Album art for Monae’s debut solo album Metropolis
Promo art for Badu’s 2010 album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)
Janelle Monae on the cover of 944 Magazine’s 2010 music issue
Erykah Badu backstage at 2010 Lollapalooza
Monae in veil and collar, from singersroom.com
Badu photoshoot from erykah-badu.com
Monae in 2008 Essence magazine spread
Badu in photoshoot, from erykah-badu.com
regal cover art for the second part of Janelle Monae’s Metropolis album – The Archandroid
Erykah Badu looking regal at The Grammy’s
The Quintessential Weird-Cool-Awesome.
Janelle Monae in Interview magazine (photo by Daniel Jackson)