Janelle Monae Goes A Bit Crazy In Her “Tightrope” Video

Robbie Daw | March 31, 2010 8:50 am

Janelle Monae and her crew literally dance their way through (in)sanity in the Lilith Fair performer’s new video for “Tightrope.” The clip was directed by Wendy Morgan and is set at the Palace Of The Dogs asylum, where we learn that “dancing has long been forbidden for its subversive effects on the residents.” Though not as much of a WTF-fest as MGMT’s “Delirium” video, “Tightrope” is still pretty trippy—and it’s a great visual reminder that we’re all constantly tipping on the high wire of life. Watch below!

In an interview with Artist Direct earlier this month, Monae explained the message behind “Tightrope”:

“‘Tightrope’ deals with balance. Early on in my career, and even now, it’s a daily struggle to stay balanced and not get too high or too low. It was something that I hadn’t really heard in a song. If I was telling somebody how to make it through life, I would definitely tell them that balance is important. You can’t get too high on praises and you can’t get too low on any one situation. I wanted that song to be an empowerment song. I wanted people to find their inner confidence and to feel more self-empowered in understanding that they have to stay more balanced in life. That was my goal. James Brown influenced it, of course. I wanted it to be that 2010 beyond anthem—that classic song that you can go to in any moment when you feel like things are out of control in life. That’ll be your little medicine.”

The song also features rapping by Outkast’s Big Boi. “He’s been in the music industry for awhile,” Monae told Artist Direct. “There are so many lows and highs in this business. For him to be a part of this song only felt right. He’s a friend of mine, and I can talk to him about anything. I thought he was definitely a person who could have a believable and inspirational perspective for this song.”

Janelle’s album The ArchAndroid is due out May 18.