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Top Janelle Monae Collaborations

All hail the Janelle Monae collaboration. She hasn’t spent all her time being an ArchAndroid – she’s also worked with some excellent producers and created some of the past few years’ best music. She has a knack for turning most tracks she touches to gold; for holding disparate styles together. There were some real surprises – she’s chosen her co-producers well. I’m genuinely surprised “Nerd Girl” and “2012″ never got more buzz. The rest are a motley crew.

 Top Janelle Monae CollaborationsJaspects collaborated with Janelle on Broadcasting The Definition (2006) and The Polkadotted Stripe (2009). “Peachtree Blues” is a modern take on the rainy day jazz ballad and offers her the chance to really take off vocally. “2012″ is a head trip in a completely different vein – an electric, psychedelic journey through many of the styles Janelle explored on The ArchAndroid.

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“Nerd Girl” has an addictive bass line and chorus, and manages to channel the best of early 60′s rock & roll. And the album it’s off of, Jacques Jams, is one of the most original fusions of rock and hip-hop out there. Chester French makes an ideal duet partner – this track is delightful.

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“Call The Law” has a catchy New Orleans blues progression. She really has a strength for playing a character in a narrative – it should come as no surprise that she chose to make her debut set of LP from the perspective of a fictional android. Plus she does a good homicidal ex-girlfriend.

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“Be Still” is still my favorite track from Sir Lucious Leftfoot – Janelle’s chorus and bridge mix perfectly with one of the most effective and introspective raps Big Boi has ever given us.

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And the rare half-miss. B.o.B.’s choice to use Blink 182 era punk rock doesn’t quite mesh with his flow, but there’s a fair bit of soul here.

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I feel as though I just found $20 in between the couch cushions.

 

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