“From the past to the future, from Venus to Mars, I’m calling all the stars,” Janelle Monáe coolly declares at the end of the near-title track from her unstintingly generous sophomore album, 2013′s The Electric Lady. The song’s new video delivers: Monáe dances and sings at one hell of a party thrown by the otherworldly sorority Electro Phi Beta, whose guests include T.I. and whose “emeritus” members are the likes of T-Boz, Estelle, Esperanza Spalding, Monica and Kimbra. Also present: the David Bowie-covering Archandroid singer’s mother.
The arrival of the video has also resurfaced recent comments from Barack and Michelle Obama: At one recent event, the President said Monáe has video of him dancing with her and Usher and “she can blackmail me at any time,” and at another, the First Lady said, “I am honored to be the first Electric Lady.” We’re assuming that the “f” in “first” should’ve been capitalized there, because all this further goes to show that Monáe — aside from being an apparent risk to national security, should her POTUS footage fall into the wrong hands — is the electric one.