Record Label: Bad Boy Entertainment
Janelle Monáe - the inimitable, award-winning, songwriter, performer, producer, CoverGirl and avant-garde funkstress - returned in 2013 with her second full-length “emotion picture” and follow-up to her 2010 Grammy-nominated debut The ArchAndroid. Monae used the fertile and powerful experiences of her past as the biggest inspiration in the creation of The Electric Lady.
According to Monáe, “I went back to Kansas City after my tour for my debut album The ArchAndroid. And when I looked around me, I decided I wanted to make a raw, revealing album all about my life and the things I’d experienced in my community - about the laughter in the parks, the jams bumping in the cars, the jokes told over kitchen tables, all the life and warmth and struggles I felt there. But I also wanted to figure out how to take Kansas City to the future...like a surreal Parliament album with lyrics by Octavia Butler and album art by Salvador Dali.”
As time passed, Monáe found herself increasingly drawn to the stories and experiences of the strong women in her life, and their ability to electrify and inspire individuals to do the right thing. Inspired by her mother and other matriarchs, Monáe began to write lyrics and songs about rebel women who refused to be marginalized and dared to live their life boldly and unapologetically in a distant future.
Monáe explains, “When I returned to the studio, I felt I had to do my part. Through my art, I had to help create the woman I wanted to see around me. Incidentally, during concerts, for years I’d been painting this woman’s physique - the silhouette of her hips - I have hundreds of these paintings with the same feminine figure over and over...this glowing Technicolor woman...seen from behind...regal, powerful and electric...My colleagues and friends told me to name this mysterious figure because she seemed to be a totem, a powerful symbol for me. So I named her The Electric Lady, and that’s where the album’s title came from.”
As she began the audacious task of following up on her acclaimed debut LP The ArchAndroid - an album that topped critic’s lists in 2010 all over the world - she took along some trusty, brave companions: the original music producers of The ArchAndroid, Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Chuck Lightning of Wondaland Productions. She adds, “This entire project was produced by Wonder & Lightning. We set out to make a soundtrack for the Obama era, something that spoke to the beautiful, majestic and revolutionary times that we’re living in. The musical language we’re speaking now is called ish. In the African-American community, we’ve been turning left-overs (like chitlins) and social depredation (like poverty) into delicacies and fine art for years. So we just set out to turn the rubbish all around us into something beautiful. Ish is the bowtie on the funk.”
The Electric Lady sounds like an urgent and dangerous form of dance music, rebel music that forces one to fight, jam, and fall in love. Like on The ArchAndroid, the sonic textures of the album are varied, and the past and present come together to explode and create a mind-blowing future for pop and soul music. For example, wondrous strings reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield and Bernard Herrmann orchestrations abound, Hendrixian guitar solos soar, Outkast-like raps float over punk rock riffs; defiant socially-conscious lyrics extol the virtues of soul-searching and fighting for change, while the funk simply melts your speakers: 808s boom and Prince-like synthesizers squiggle in your earhole, making it veritably impossible to just sit still.
Monáe was also inspired and emboldened by her truly amazing collaborators: Roman GianArthur, the wunderkind and Wondaland Arts Society artist-in-residence that, once again, provided the album’s magisterial overture; the soul star Miguel, who crooned his way effortlessly to the stars and helped provide a prime baby-making moment on the lush ballad “Primetime”; Erykah Badu, her self-ascribed “twin,” who used her cosmic grace and poise to help turn the first single “Q.U.E.E.N.” into a female empowerment anthem and a runaway smash; and none other than her lifetime hero, the legendary Prince, who contributed in countless ways, musically, vocally, and most importantly, spiritually.
As she worked, Monáe found herself, as always, drawn again into her other love, science fiction, and the exploits of Cindi Mayweather, the heroine of her first EP Metropolis. In fact, the album serves as Suite IV and V of her Metropolis saga, and in this chapter, the android hero Cindi moves from self-realization to self-actualization: from the knowledge and owning of her unique superpowers, to actually using them to better the world around her. Monáe says, “I like to think you can hear me using my superpowers this time. And not just talking or wondering about them. The Electric Lady is like the big action sequence in the third act of an epic film. Every party this album starts, or every baby born because of it, is actually another victory against the Great Divide.”
If you have questions regarding your order please visit our Order Status page before contacting us.
If it's urgent don't hesitate to give us a ring.
Business hours are Monday - Friday 9AM-5PM PST.
Call Us Toll Free: (888) 377-3175
To reach us by email use the form below:
Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
Important information when ordering with Fatbeats.com...
• Online orders are processed within 1-2 business days.
• If you are confused or need to know about an order placed on the site you can contact us
• Order processing time is separate from shipping time requested.
• International orders and orders that require additional credit verification can take longer to process. Please be available at the provided number or email submitted to speed up verification time.
•We try and offer as many upcoming projects available for pre-order when the releases have moved into production. However, due to the nature of manufacturing and production, pre-order dates may change. If your pre-ordered items are holding your package from arriving please email us with a request to ship the in-stock items and pre-orders when they become available.
•If your order contains pre-order items we will hold the package until all titles are available to ship. Please specify in the comments section of the checkout if you would like to: a) hold your entire order until it can be entirely fulfilled or, b) have the in-stock items shipped immediately and the pre-ordered items ship when available. Please note that option B may require additional shipping charges as multiple packages will be shipped.
• Our stock rapidly changes and we try and set in place a system that avoids purchasing items that become out of stock. However, if a product ordered is out of stock, we will reach out and give you the chance to change or cancel your order. If you choose to cancel, you will be refunded in full.
• IMPORTANT: If the address or phone number supplied conflicts with other information provided, i.e. billing information versus shipping information, we may need to contact you to verify your purchase. Please be available to verify or write an explanation in the notes section during checkout explaining the conflicting information.
•Please make sure you give us your correct billing address and your correct billing phone number. Again, it is highly important that you are available at the provided number or email submitted to speed up verification time enabling us to avoid fraudulent purchases.
• All sales are final. However, if the item ordered is different from the item you receive, please contact us and we can arrange to get you the desired product.
• We are committed to protecting your privacy. There is an opt-in policy to receive marketing and other e-blasts about future products available as well as deals and coupons. If you do not wish to receive these emails you can opt out by simply removing the check from the marketing box below upon check out. We will never sell your email or personal information.
• Your payment and personal information is always safe. Our SSL (secure server software) is the industry standard and among the best software available today for secure commerce transactions. It encrypts all of your personal information, including credit card number, name, and address, so that it cannot be read over the internet.
Fat Beats offers internship opportunities. You must be enrolled in college and reside in the Los Angeles area to be eligible for our programs. If you meet these requirements, please paste your cover letter below and we will contact you if there are open positions available.
We are currently offering an internship program that offers an educational experience in all facets of our distribution operation. The intern would have the ability to assist in each of the following departments:
Online Retail / Marketing
Shipping & Receiving
- Enrollment in an accredited college/university that offers an internship program for academic credit
- Knowledge and passion in independent music and culture; with a specific interest in the artists/releases that Fat Beats supports
- Familiarity with Microsoft Office applications
- Positive attitude - no task should be considered too small
- Must be located in the greater Los Angeles area
Resumes/Cover Letters should be emailed to email@example.com