In this particular song, Monae’s character is trapped in an asylum in which dancing is outlawed for its magical effects. As she dances she transcends the walls of her room/cell, gaining access to a multicolored world of self-expression. Ultimately, she is defeated by demons who have mirrors for faces, symbolizing how those who confine you most are often internalized voices. Through watching Monae’s character attempt to escape her futuristic chains, the audience takes away a message that speaks to people of many oppressed identities.
Janelle Monae walks through societal walls using the guise of Cindi Mayweather, resident android of the future. Unlike many singers of today, Monae’s private life truly remains private. While she refuses to share who she’s dating, or what her invisible identities are, her beliefs are loud and clear. Monte’s music largely speaks to lifting up the oppressed, de-objectifying the objectified, and welcoming in those who have been rejected. In order to get these messages across, she has created an alter-ego, Cindi Mayweather, who represents the outcast of the future: androids. In Monae’s imagined world of the future, she plays an android, oppressed by the human community. This literally objectified persona allows her music to relate directly to people at all intersections of oppression without being limited by her own societally constructed identity. In an interview with Pride Source, Monae explains, “The android represents the form of the new other… There are so many parallels to the android – and it’s important to speak about the future, as well – so it’s just my way of communicating to my audience and anyone listening that these people, they walk amongst us” (Pride Source). Through this character, the singer creates an avatar for all those oppressed. She is able to confront her own and others’ oppression without clear separations or limitations of individual experience. In addition, by literally playing an android, a part-object, part-human, she makes a point that those that we objectify and oppress deserve compassion.