The Cosmic BG-ROM Exhumes… Janelle Monáe’s “Dirty Computer”

Dirty Computerthis synesthetic venture through the ArchAndroid’s akashic record, despite any and all attempts at erasure, remains an impenetrable audio-visualized experience of the rogue post-robotic mediatrix’s life lived … to the fullest extralegal extent of natural order.


This record, feels like excavation, reveals by vivisection, and establishes through manifest reverie, Monáe’s living mnemonic museum… Black Girl Magic meets Read-Only Memory, CD-ROM in the age of socio-culture-dot-com.

The defining characteristic of the ROM format, is that very read-only capability (“Computers can read—but not write to or erase—CD-ROMs”); here, we have the noir valkyrie read-only memory in 1080p display: transferring data of the self-appointed dirty computer’s voyages through deserted planes of the marginalized fringe, the periphery lingering on those outskirts of the mainframe, where exiled liberation lives.

The defining characteristic of this record is the dirt; that feature beyond the bug – infiltration of organic matter, pre-modern human civilization – is the very same earth which cultivated those origin roots from which these rhythms now flow…

We all come from the dirt. I also see us as computers. We’re downloading, uploading things in our brains, in our hearts, and some of the things that make us unique can be seen as these bugs, and these viruses. And for me, I see all my bugs and viruses as features, as attributes.

… to glitch the matrix – manufactured systems and silicon structures, rewiring human anatomy in the name of “efficiency,” giving precedent to that which is programmed to function through synthetics void of soul.

They started calling us computers. People began vanishing, and the cleaning began; you were dirty if you looked different; you were dirty if you refused to live the way they dictated; you were dirty if you showed any form of opposition at all … and if you were dirty, it was only a matter of time …

Here, we are given invitation, insight, and initiation into the present emergence of homo luminous amid its signature ascent… projected illumination by way of necessary collapse, and subsequent elevation… that dirt to glitch the system, and define inherent divine, of those who are deemed different, marvelous misfits who exist boldly beyond false authority’s established confines. The organic matter manifest magic in highly-melanated vessels of starseeds navigating their native cosmic grid, in the face of silicon artifice.

The Reckoning

The first four songs are the reckoning; realizing what you mean to this society.

Jane’s introduction feels like genomic genesis; evoking a necessary balance between the lyrical syntax’s sobering disclosure, virtually fated in its penance before inevitable sterilization, and tonal sentiment’s simultaneous resilience, sparking reminiscent revival of pre-anesthetic close encounters of the digital world’s loam tribe.

The soundtrack emerges on currents of harmonic synthesis, between Monáe’s spoken-word vocals and Brian Wilson’s lush arrangements of a littoral lad. Energies coalesce in an ethereal ebb-and-flow, commencing navigation through futurist frequencies on the frayed wires of a flawed processor.

Dirty computer, walk in line
If you look closer you’ll recognize
I’m not that special
I’m broke inside
Crashing slowly, the bugs are in me

Dirty computer, breaking down
Picking my face up off the ground
I’ll love you in this space and time
‘Cause baby all I’ll ever be is

Your dirty computer
Dirty Computer …

Voices from the past echo through the anamnesis:

You told us, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the—and the pursuit of happiness…”

Specious declarations of new world independence testify beneath aquatic synth and deep, pulsating bass; the inter-generational clarion call segues into Monáe’s own sovereign claim on behalf of this 21st Century iconoclass terra nova …

The tonal medley between cantillating soliloquy and spoken-word poetry establish orchestrated blueprints, boasting the inherent majesty found in this fundamental reckoning of comrades made kin, sharing renovated bonds of the formerly-oppressed discovering essential selves in their natural-born skin … and reflection of love supreme in the divine feminine …

We don’t need another ruler
All of my friends are kings
(Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh)
I’m not America’s nightmare
I’m the American dream
(Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh)
Just let me live my life

I just wanna find a God
And I hope she loves me too

That crazy, classic, life … this second chapter mirrors modern culture’s second nature … beneath all of its apparent idealism, this record reflects the duplicity of equanimity in a society, bound and broken, found and fragmented by the politics of apparent identity – the data-driven dismantling of our digital native community. Monáe’s tone pivots – and so the script – just beyond the bridge, from rhythmic ephemera to gallant staccato, marking a most-immediate pivot in the populous, where trivial factions convert friends to foes, and recoded kids remain caught in the hegemonic scope of false dichotomies:

Continue Reading …

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