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Janelle Monáe candidly discussed her “new era of liberation” as the cover star of Rolling Stone‘s June 2023 issue. 

The vastly multitalented artist’s interview was as expansive as her ever-evolving career and identities. Monáe’s latest cover story, her second with Rolling Stoneunpacked the 37-year-old Black, queer feminist’s journey into The Age of Pleasure. As the title of her forthcoming album, it is also a deep reflection of the artist’s current state.

Monáe emphasized that she’s in a place where she prioritizes her pleasure and embodiment of wants and needs.

That may include flaunting her tits, spending time with her “emotional-support coach,” throwing friend-filled parties, or working on her countless creative pursuits.

“I’m much happier when my titties are out, and I can run free,” the non-binary performer said. “I’ve changed my whole fucking lifestyle,” she added elsewhere in the interview.

Monáe came out as pansexual via the publication in 2018. She shared the range of pronouns she identified with — she/her, they/them and “free ass motherfucker” — last year.

“I want things to feel so true to my life,” she said in her latest for Rolling Stone. “I used to consider myself a futurist. I know what that means — to obsess about the next thing. A ‘present tourist’ is what I’m calling myself right now. I’m actively focusing on being present.”

The cover story also noted the talent’s production company Wonderland Pictures, her Dirty Computer-inspired anthology of short stories, her nonprofit Fem the Future and her latest single, “Lipstick Lover.”


The Age of Pleasure is said to be different from the Afro-Futurist and sci-fi-inspired bodies of works of Monáe’s past.

The singer drew inspiration from the beauty of the African Diaspora and how it was displayed visually and sonically during the Everyday People parties she hosted in 2020 and 2021. 

“It [the album] was inspired by all of my friends, my community of folks who are from South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, the Caribbean, Atlanta, L.A., Chicago.”

“Seeing all of us together in out Blackness, in the love that we had in our eyes for each other. People from the continent fuck around with rap from Atlanta. You know what I’m saying? I love how the diaspora — we talk to each other.”

Janelle Monáe’s album, The Age of Pleasure, drops June 9.

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