Cindi Mayweather: Behind The Music

Originally published at Black Sci-Fi.Com in June in honor of Black Music History Month and LGBTQ Pride

“I imagined many moons in the sky lighting the way to freedom.”

She is one of the most the critically acclaimed musicians out today. Between her successful albums, films, award nominations and collaborations with everyone from the late Prince to First Lady Michelle Obama, one thing is certain for Janelle Monae; her rising star is only getting brighter.

But who is Janelle Monae?

While researching the chanteuse, I uncovered a most profound discovery. Everything we thought we knew about Monae is a complete work of fiction. For starters her name isn’t even Janelle Monae. It is an alias and part of her cover. In actual fact, Monae’s true identity is Cindi Mayweather; an android from the future.

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Higher beings taking on the guises of human musicians, specifically rock stars, is a time-honored tradition on Earth. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson was better known to some as the Moonwalker and Captain Eo. The late Prince, Mayweather’s friend and mentor, was not only a gifted prodigy who played 27 instruments but he also purified the sacred waters of Lake Minnetonka. The alien entity known as Major Tom and Ziggy Stardust was known on Earth as David Bowie.

According to the clues revealed in her first EP, The ArchAndroid, Mayweather is an enslaved Alpha Platinum 9000 android model, whose number is 57821. Mayweather becomes aware of the injustices her fellow androids endure at the hands of ruling human one percenters. When she falls in love with a human, she is targeted to be disassembled. On the run, Mayweather discovers that she is destined to become the savior, the Electric Lady, who will liberate the androids and reconcile the two races.

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A female messianic figure is a timeless tale which runs parallel to Marie from the 1927 film, Metropolis, as well as abolitionist Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman. Mayweather explains that androids are symbolic of minorities, specifically people of color and LGBTQs. The musical prodigy’s sexual orientation has been the subject of much speculation. Many of her lyrics allude to attraction of the same gender. Mayweather credits Garland as one of her heroes. Kansas, Judy Garland, best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz? Kansas? Fan of Garland or rather Friend of Dorothy; a common term to identify LGBTQs. Coincidence? No such animal.

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“I speak about androids because I think the android represents the new ‘Other,’” Mayweather says. “You can compare it to being a lesbian or being a gay man or being a black woman… What I want is for people who feel oppressed or feel like the ‘Other’ to connect with the music and to feel like, ‘She represents who I am.’”

But why here in the 21st century? Several elite government agencies have pondered on this very question. Captain Jack Harkness, head of the Torchwood Institute suspects he knows why.

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“The 21st century is where everything changes,” Harkness explains.

Harkness also reveals that upon his investigation Mayweather has a very specific reason for traveling to the 21st century. Project Q.U.E.E.N. a musical weapons program that is specifically designed to ignite freedom movements in the guise of works of music, film and other art forms.

“I don’t make music for kings or queens, I make music for regular people,” Mayweather says. “I wear my black and white uniform to pay homage to those who are working every single day like my mother and father…I represent the working class and I try to create songs that are uplifting because this world can drive you insane, which is why I try to create songs like ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Cold War’. To give them inspiration on how to deal with balance and how to realize your strengths.”

The sartorial statement is very much akin to that of the late Johnny Cash. Known as the man in black, Cash’s dark clothing paid homage to the downtrodden and those regularly targeted by injustice.

Dr. Martha Jones of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce explains that the British military organization is no stranger to aliens and time travelers, 57821 is an enigma.

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“I’ve crossed paths with Cybermen and Daleks,” Jones explains. “Mayweather is something else entirely. Many of us believe that she is the great change the Mayans predicted would transpire here on Earth.”

But not everyone has been receptive to Mayweather’s campaign. Not only does she face powerful foes from her own timeline but she has been met with great opposition in this one. During a live performance on NBC’s The Today show, the broadcast was preempted when Mayweather and bandmates stated that Black Lives Matter. Undeterred, days later Mayweather made headlines when she marched, performed and released a track bringing more attention to the murder of innocent black lives.

Despite Mayweather’s robotic nature, she personifies #BlackGirlMagic and is well versed in the mystical as documented in the video, Tightrope.

The not-so-hidden Afrofuturistic elements in her lyrics and videos also serves as a beacon to attract likeminded freedom fighters to her cause. Examples range from The Walking Dead references in her music video, Dance Apocalyptica, the nods to the Oscar winning film Birdman in Mayweather’s video Yoga. Mayweather’s strategy is a most shrewd one. After all, the demographic of marginalized nerds and geeks that Mayweather’s Q.U.E.E.N. project targets are artists, philosophers, poets, intellectuals, writers, visionaries and freedom fighters.

In fact, since arriving in the 21st Century, she has joined forces with other artists with extraordinary abilities. Mayweather founded the Wondaland Arts Society which poses as  “Janelle Monae’s record label.”

So what is Mayweather’s endgame? The Electric Lady’s motto is one that she regularly shares with other women, “Come in peace, but mean business.” Mayweather further laid out her manifesto at the conclusion of her track, Q.U.E.E.N.:

Are we a lost generation of our people?

Add us to equations but they’ll never make us equal.

She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel.

So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal?

They keep us underground working hard for the greedy,

But when it’s time to pay they turn around and call us needy.

My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti

Gimme back my pyramid, I’m trying to free Kansas City.

Mixing masterminds like your name Bernie Grundman.

Well I’m gonna keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman

You can take my wings I’m still goin’ fly

And even when you edit me the booty don’t lie

Yeah, keep singing and I’mma keep writing songs

I’m tired of Marvin askin me, “What’s Going On?”

March to the streets ‘cause I’m willing and I’m able

Categorize me, I defy every label

And while you’re selling dope, we’re gonna keep selling hope

We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope

Will you be electric sheep?

Electric ladies, will you sleep?

Or will you preach?

 

Harkness maintains that there is a grand design to all of this, including this expose.

“Think about it,” Harkness said to me. “June is LGBTQ Pride Month as well as Black Music Month. Rock & Roll was founded by Sister Rosetta Thorpe, a queer black woman and a dear friend of mine. And you just ‘happen’ to be assigned a story about a modern black (and possibly queer) female rock & roll artist who is bringing a message of peace in lieu of the Orlando tragedy, a presidential election and the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Coincidence? No such animal. One thing is for certain, while Mayweather’s mission is a peaceful, she most definitely means business.

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