“THIS SONG IS ABOUT VAGINAS I LOVE IT” writes one keen YouTube commenter, essentially summarising the immediate appeal of Janelle Monáe’s visually stunning new music video. Following their 2015 collaboration on ‘Venus Fly’, Monáe and Grimes have teamed up again to create ‘PYNK’. The two women have taken a colour in which femininity is inherent and shown, lyrically and visually, the power that lies within it. After all, the video’s description tells us, “PYNK is where the future is born”.
The video is being widely celebrated for its presentation of a new kind of female sexuality: it is queer, it is black, it is proud. (See visuals featuring actress Tessa Thompson, widely rumoured to be in a relationship with Monáe, smiling out from a pair of trousers resembling a vagina. Feminism!!!) Coming just days after the release of Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album, this track marks another joint in contemporary pop music’s middle finger to straight-laced, sex-negative white feminism.
Musically, ‘PYNK’ is a fun and catchy tune, easily blending Monáe’s signature R&B with Grimes’ individual brand of synth-pop. Its lyrics and visuals celebrate women, from overt political messages (underwear advertising the message “I GRAB BACK”) to simple shots of women having a laugh and a dance together.
Aside from feminist messaging, it’s a highly aesthetically pleasing video, featuring pink-filtered shots, desert landscapes, and an overall vintage style recalling Charli XCX’s ‘Boys’ – now with girls!
‘PYNK’ is musically distinct from Monáe’s previous two singles, but the theme of female empowerment shines strong throughout. We can’t wait for the release of her new album ‘Dirty Computer’, coming April 27th.
Watch the video for ‘PYNK’ here.