It’s been four years since she’s released an album — she’s been busy out there mainstreaming as an actress in Oscar nominated films like Hidden Figures
. This is her first time coming back to her fringey musical roots and the gaggle of press, artists, and fans are excited to see how her newfound stardom and eccentric spirit can merge. The room is full of people who appear to be marching to the beat of their own drums. To my left is my hairstylist friend Kyrsten Oriol, who also worked on several of Monáe’s recent music videos. To her left is the famed queer visual artist, Mickalene Thomas
, dressed in all black. To my right is a white supporter, who will later passionately thank me for my animated reaction throughout the film. Somewhere behind me is Orange is the New Black’s
Adrienne C. Moore, and a girl who curates one of my favorite fat-themed Instagram accounts
. Common and Lupita Nyong’o casually converse two rows ahead of me. None of them are disappointed at the end of the night.