Alright, there’s no ABW’s for me to answer and currently I am packing up to head to New York City for the Afro-Punk Festival. It’s my second year and if you follow this blog, you already know some of the people I am very excited to see – okay, the one person we all know I am super stoked to see: Janelle Monae. Love her to death, she’s more than a refreshing breath of air to Black music. Plus, I get to see my wonderful mate, Kellindo, always a plus.
Now, since I have free space to talk about whatever, I would like to ponder and wonder why I get people coming to my blog, Black Witch, about Janelle Monae. It ain’t about her music either and I think I’m a leeeeettle outside the color spectrum to be mistaken for the Wondaland wordpress. It’s people wondering if Janelle Monae is a Witch.
Really? I know the music industry sucks super hard rocks right now and so does mainstream Black music (sorry, Lil’ Wayne is no one’s prayers and if you know Black music history – and Western media history in regards to race – you’ll clearly see why. Or just Google “Nicholas Brothers” and then look at a modern day Black music video for a quick overview) but Witchcraft? Are you seriously that stupid or the type to believe Jay-Z is a Satanist and the music industry is ran by the Illuminati?… Wait, wait, both the former and the latter are pretty much one and the same, I guess I should find a how-to for tin-foil hats so these people can get something worthwhile out of this blog. A Witch? Janelle Monae, a what? Witch? Wait, what? Why? Because she does the Tightrope and wear suits? Then what the hell does that make me?
Okay, readers. For the record, I’m a Witch. I cast spells. I make potions. I do divination. I’m Pagan. Janelle Monae does not cast spells. Janelle Monae does not make potions. Janelle Monae does not do divination. Janelle Monae is Christian. And most of all, she is definitely not a Witch. I’ve been around Wondaland, Janelle Monae’s people – I’m friends with the guitarist, remember? – and I’ve had to worry about them, Monae included, not accepting me and my witchcraftin’ self. Man, I still do and it’s been over a year. I still remember one of Janelle Monae dancers hopping behind Kellindo when I brought up Black Witch – a reaction that does not come from people who already know Witches but the exact opposite, trust me.
The reason why this all bugs me so? The short answer is “Because people are stupid and that bugs me.” The defined answer is because it’s ridiculous that a person – no, a Black woman, is actually doing right for herself, her gender and her race by actually relying on her talents and not her tits to sell her music – I’m thinkin of one who stumbled through lolita and made aplenty Black lolitas rue, her wigs are colorful though – and because she’s not desiring to become another stereotype but is still being successful, someone has to think magick is behind it. Not talent. Not the fact we are in the middle of a talent drought in all forms of the fine arts. Not the fact that 2010 is her breakout year but she’s been at it since ’04/05. Not the fact that she’s got friends in pretty high or important places such as Big Boi of Outkast or even Puff Daddy/P. Diddy. Magick, is what people think. Hello, I’m a Witch and I can say short of selling your soul to Satan, no one simply rockets to the top fresh out the oven. And even that may not ensure anything besides feeling empty from the fame. How do I know? I’ve been around the music industry, it’s no cupcakes and rainbows. Well, maybe it is, if the cupcakes were poisonous and the rainbows rained poo and every pot of gold found was more like a shiny, distracting rock. (‘Tis purdy, though!) Janelle Monae is a hard worker, that’s the reason of her success. Not witchery. Work. Her energy is amazing but that doesn’t promise she’s a Witch. I know lots of people with strong energy, and very few of them are Witches. Still amazing and enchanting at what they do though.
I think another reason it bugs me is, well, I’m a Cancer in three planets (Sun, Mars, Mercury (Rx)) so when I care, I care deep. When I support, I support, especially when it means something more to me than just doling out another cd. Janelle Monae and her music means a lot to me as an alt-culture Black girl raised in the hood in Baltimore. My only regret is that her music couldn’t come sooner to make me feel less alone when I was growing up. Plus, it’s that whole “friend of a friend” thing that can also prod me. Kellindo is my friend and I extend my kindness to anyone he cares for too. That’s just me. Oh, and I’m a Witch, I love setting the record straight whenever I can whenever it comes to my area of expertise. For example, I still think Michelle Bachmann* Christine O’Donnell is a batty and racist moron as well as a sign the Republicans really can find someone who’s worse than Sarah Palin, who was worse than Bush.
So yeah, any future “Janelle Monae, Witchcraft” search terms to my blog gets the same old treatment as always: made fun of on my Twitter, around friends and to my potential pool of 8,000+* readers. To those going, “Black Witch, be nice! It could be genuine inquiry, leave room for that.” You’re right, and to that I say the inquirer should have had some sense to listen to her discography before asking such a stupid question. That’s like someone asking me if I’m really a Witch after reading this blog. Besides, the inquirer will use their context clue skills, I’m all for intellectual advancement! And those who assume that an artist is using occult means to get ahead seriously do not know how the music industry works. The industry can be quite evil, I’ll admit, but no need to play it up like Voldemort own Atlantic Records and everyone signed to it has the Dark Mark hidden on them somewhere.
So, no. Janelle Monae is not a Witch. She’s a musician. There you have it. Deal.
Now I got that out my system, I’m off to NYC, da Big Apple! I will be pestering Cee-lo Green, meet a couple readers, maybe sign something, chill with Kellindo proper, fangirl around Janelle Monae, say hi to Santigold and listen to the Bad Rabbits. Say hi if you see me! Bring a print out of your favorite post, I’ll totally sign it!
Also, next month is a Black Witch series titled “Black Diamonds and Pearls”, which looks at Black girls in the Lolita fashion. Normal Pagan-related postings will resume in October. And check out my interview with Daughters of Eve on Patheos.com!
Editors Note: It’s Christine O’Donnell, not Michelle Bachmann, who claimed she did Witchcraft when she was a teen. I still find Michelle Bachmann both bigoted and batty, though.
*Was 8,000 but Afro-Punk has gotten over 10,000 at this point. Remember, this site is just the external version.