Sunday, November 20th, 2011
"Let's Go Crazy"
Janelle Monae covers Prince & The Revolution
Frank YangNot that he’s looking to abdicate the title of one of the most multi-talented – if, er, a bit eccentric – artists of our time, but if you were to nominate heirs apparent for Prince, then Janelle Monáe would have to be right at the top of the list. I don’t know how her guitar chops are, but as far as being a singer/songwriter/visionary who effortlessly blends soul, funk and rock and outrageous showmanship at a ridiculously young age – she’s just 25 – Monáe has got the goods.
Said goods were fully on display at the 2010 BET Awards, which featured a tribute to the Purple One and had Monáe tapped to perform “Let’s Go Crazy”, from 1984’s Purple Rain, and in performing it she does just that. The audio is a rip of the video, which is unsurprisingly hard to find online given Prince’s negative feelings about -in no particular order – the internet, images of himself online and covers of his songs. But vids still remain online and it’s worth watching as much as seeing both for Monáe’s performance as the audience of footage of Prince himself at first watching impassively, then getting into it and finally applauding Monáe’s rendition. That’s some high praise, right there.
Prince will be on the receiving end of the applause this weekend when his Welcome 2 Canada tour kicks off at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Friday and Saturday nights. His last release was last year’s 20Ten, but who’s kidding who – we want to hear the old stuff. And from past Welcome 2 America set lists, he’s in an obliging mood. As for Monáe, she’s getting to work on her follow-up to last year’s debut The ArchAndroid and also turns 26 next week on December 1.