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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Janelle Monae and Bad Boy make it official on MTV

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BAD BOY'S BEHIND THIS: Natural-born hype-man P. Diddy compares Janelle Monae to James Brown and Elvis during their interview with Sway on MTV. Click here to see the full footage. (Photo courtesy MTV News)

If you've been following local phenom Janelle Monae's career as close as we have, you know she's been hella busy. Besides starring in the Atlanta Ballet collaboration with Big Boi titled big — which you can read about in this week's CL cover story — she just got back from a trip to New York last week where she performed for an industry crowd.

MTV was on-hand and Sway even sat down to interview her and P. Diddy, who has been courting Monae and her Wondaland Arts Society partners since late last year. After keeping their working relationship under wraps for months, natural born hype-man Diddy compared his new artist Monae to James Brown, Elvis, Judy Garland and Anita Baker in the same breath.

The announcement of her signing confirms the story we broke last November. In the joint venture between Wondaland and Bad Boy/Atlantic, Big Boi of OutKast will "continue to serve as a collaborator and co-executive producer," Monae announced in a blog posted on her MySpace page yesterday.

For fans who fear what might become of Monae at a pop label like Bad Boy, she added:

I feel this movement is beyond independent or mainstream. Soul or rock. Black or white. Pompadour or perm. Saddle shoes or high heels. It’s about altering history through a great new era of music and art.

According to Mitchell Martin II of Wondaland, Diddy is so excited to be involved with an artist of Monae's caliber — and a team with WAS's marketing expertise — that he plans to stay out of their way as they do their thing.

So that means no "Bad Boy this, Bad Boy that" chants all over Monae's vocals, right Diddy?

The next suite from Metropolis is scheduled to drop in June, with a full-length album containing both new and previously released material to drop in September, according to Martin.

Martin also gave some insight into a lot of conversation Wondaland has been fostering within the local music scene. Stay tuned for more on that in the upcoming CL Music Issue, which drops April 23.

Check out the MTV interview with Diddy and Monae, along with clips from her recent New York performance.

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