Wildcard (week 41):
Janelle Monáe – Americans

On her latest album Dirty Computer, which was preceded by the single Make Me Feel, Janelle Monáe saved the best for last. Americans is the closing track on the album. Combining elements of pop, gospel, R&B, funk and neo-soul, it sounds like a tribute to Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy, but in fact, the song preaches the importance of all Americans coming together and being recognized for who they are and what they contribute to their country. But as we all know, that’s not the way it works in the United States nowadays. Non-male Americans, queer Americans, Americans of colour, poor Americans, etc. are looked down upon.

A spoken bridge and outro by Reverend Sean McMillan lists the marginalised people in contemporary America: “Until women can get equal pay for equal work… Until same-gender-loving people can be who they are… Until black people can come home from a police stop without being shot in the head… Until poor whites can get a shot at being successful… Until Latinos and Latinas don’t have to run from walls… this is not my America.”

I’m not sure if this is Monáe’s new single, but it’s playlisted by BBC Radio 6music. And that’s not all; a great track like this, with such an important message, deserves to be next week’s Carte Blanche Music Wildcard! All 41 of them, so far, are in the Wildcards 2018 playlist.

For more great new music, follow the constantly updated Carte Blanche Music playlist.

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