Django Jane’s African Beat

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Perhaps to showcase her many sides, the incomparable Janelle Monae released two very different songs/videos in advance of her hotly anticipated new album, Dirty Computer.  A few weeks ago I showcased her funky, bubbly, sex-drenched Prince tribute, “Make Me Feel,” where she effortlessly established herself as the Artist‘s one and only true heir.  This week, she’s just as authentic as a black feminist revolutionary on her way to take over the world in “Django Jane.”

As readers of this blog know, I wasn’t a fan of Tarantino’s racially charged bloodfest, Django Unchained, but I am a big fan of “Django Jane.”  Beyond her fiery rhetoric, there’s that amazing bassline and beat.  But where is it from?  I can’t swear it’s a sample, but to me, it sounds an awful lot like Senagalese artist Fania’s song “Diaraby.”

But why stop there? We can take it back even further, to the song “Maacina Tooro” from the legendary album Djam Leeli by the Senagalese artists Baaba Maal and Mansour Seck.

Whichever one it is, it seems like musical omnivore Monae’s heart has led her, in this case, to the sweet sounds of Senegal –whether directly, via a sample, indirectly, as an inspiration, or by sheer spiritual intuition.

Happy listening!

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