Janelle Monáe On Her Risk-Taking New Album: 'I Had to Pick Who I Was Comfortable Pissing Off'

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Camila Falquez for Allure

Janelle Monáe's new album was crafted with intention. 

The 32-year-old singer covers Allure's Freedom issue, and inside the magazine, she opens up about her passion for advocacy and reveals why Dirty Computer is more than just a confessional album. 

"It's about all of us, all the people at least I feel a responsibility to. I had to pick who I was comfortable pissing off and who I wanted to celebrate…. I had a list," she confesses. "I won’t be able to be detailed, because I don’t feel it would be wise for me to pinpoint one person. When you’re trying to do something of this caliber, you’ve got to move in a very particular way.”

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Camila Falquez for Allure

The singer is usually outspoken about her thoughts when it comes to social and political issues, giving a passionate speech at the GRAMMYs in honor of the Time's Up movement. For Monáe, it's important to use her platform to discuss greater issues because at the end of the day, she's human. 

"You strip away the makeup, the costumes, and everything you know about Janelle Monáe the artist, and I'm still the African-American queer woman who grew up with poor, working-class parents," she says. "When I walk off a stage, I have to deal with these confrontations. I have to deal with being afraid for my family."

"There’s lots of fears that I have about just living openly and freely and criticizing those who are in the position of power. You just never know. You never know what could happen when you are outspoken. It’s a risk. It’s a risk that I’ve prayed on and I’m willing to take," she adds. 

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Camila Falquez for Allure

See more on Monáe in the video below. 

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