Janelle Monae performed her “Yoga” single live on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Monday night with the help of The Roots and some flexy backup dancers. And you know what…we might be done trying to figure this one out. Because, honestly, while there have been some interesting analyses, including one about female-empowerment, we’re catching ourselves just simply watching and blinking in a neutral data-input-like state at this point.
“Y’all ready to hear the song of the summer?!”
The live performance, which is a bit different from the official video, includes more yoga poses by the backup dancers – dancer’s pose, backbending, headstand, a few warriors – and has a kind of surreal feeling to it. Sort of like…is this really happening? Especially when Janelle shouts “Do that yoga!” walking down the stairs. DO THAT YOGA!
It’s a strange thing, really. We find no real reason to commend or condemn. Kind of the way we feel when we see teenagers listening to some “crap” music or using some silly new slang that, to them, is super cool, but, to us, just sounds ridiculous. It’s not really wrong, per se, but it sure seems pretty…not right-ish.
We have come to accept this musical piece for what it is – a product of pop music and YogaPop tossed into a juicer with a dash of club mix, booty shaking and DJ spins. It is what it is. If it wasn’t Janelle, it probably would have been Taylor Swift or _insert new pop star’s name here_. And you can’t deny it’s a catchy tune.
And, really, the most frustrating part of the entire performance has nothing to do with the yoga – it’s that her live version censors where she sings “get off my areola,” which one could argue is the best and most subversive part of the whole dang song.
After her performance, Janelle thanks Jimmy Fallon and closes with a “namaste” uttered into the mic, pressed between her palms. YogaPop manifest.
What would it be like if this is the song of the summer?
top photo credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC