Janelle Monáe Revealed the Real Meaning Behind Her New Song, ‘Turntables’

Prolific artist Janelle Monáe recently described the real meaning behind her new song, “Turntables.” The singer-songwriter explained that the record could help energize today’s revolution.

Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Janelle Monáe’s ‘Turntables’ is on a new movie soundtrack

“We kickin’ out the old regime,” sings Janelle Monáe in “Turntables.” During the hook, she declares, “The table ‘bout to turn.” The performer’s latest single, which dropped on Sept. 8, appears on the soundtrack for the Amazon original film, All In: The Fight for Democracy.

According to the official synopsis, “The documentary takes a look at the history, and current activism against voter suppression; barriers to voting that most people don’t even know is a threat to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.” Fans can stream the documentary on Prime Video beginning Sept. 18.

Janelle Monáe explained how ‘Turntables’ captures the revolution

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In an Apple Music video, Monáe dropped knowledge about the meaning of “Turntables.” She explained, “This song is capturing the revolution. And when you think about a record, when you think about a record spinning, when you think about the revolutions per minute, it’s all connected. And that is what this song means. This song doesn’t mean that I’m the leader, that I’m here to tell you what to do [or] how to fix things.”

Monáe went on to explain the significance of the song in today’s social climate as citizens protest against racism, inequality, and oppression. The entertainer expressed a desire to shine a light on those in the trenches of the social revolution.

“I’m simply watching, examining, and wanting to highlight all of the people who are on the frontlines fighting for our democracy, fighting against racial inequalities, fighting against white supremacy, fighting against systemic racism, and systemic oppression. So, this song is to keep us motivated. This song is to uplift us and keep us galvanized when we’re fatigued. And this song is really for the people.”

‘Turntables’ could become the next great protest anthem

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“Turntables” could join the ranks of some of the great protest songs, such as “Get Up Stand Up” by Bob Marley and “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy. And based on what Monáe said in an interview with Good Morning America, her song would ideally boost the energy for people who are fighting for equality.

“We are in the middle of a revolution right now,” said Monáe to GMA. “I know you can feel it. And I think that energy is going to be important and giving each other energy. Because there’s a lot of emotional fatigue as people march, as people are online, as people are fighting for Black lives and marginalized voices. And so, this song was just my way of giving energy to the revolutionaries and to the revolution that we’re in.”

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