Janelle Monáe's new album, Dirty Computer, features several other artists across its various tracks, including Pharell, Brian Wilson, and Grimes. And one song, "Screwed," features Big Little Lies star Zoë Kravitz. So are Janelle Monáe and Zoë Kravitz friends? The two of them have a relationship that's so much more than just a professional one. They've worked together on various projects over the years, and the two of them are close friends in their personal lives, too.
Kravitz and Monáe both starred in Tiffany & Co's fall 2017 ad campaign as faces of the brand. The "There's Only One" campaign focused on uniqueness, with the ads bearing phrases such as "There's Only One Zoë Kravitz" and "There's Only One Janelle Monáe." Both of the stars' wide-ranging talents made them perfect for the campaign.
Monáe also interviewed Kravitz for her second Elle magazine cover this past January. Kravitz talked to Monáe about their shared experience of being both actors and musicians, as well as her upbringing (Kravitz's parents are Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet).
Monáe mentioned how the two of them first met in the Elle conversation, too. Apparently, Monáe's band was playing at the Afropunk Festival in 2008, and Kravitz was among the small number of people in the crowd. Monáe said to Kravitz,
"I saw you in the flesh for the first time in 2008 at Afropunk. My band was playing, and maybe 20 people were invited. I remember you dancing, and I was like, Oh my God. Zoë Kravitz is in the front row of our show."
The "Pynk" singer went on to explain that Kravitz's band at the time, Elevator Fight, played a set after her own band. At that point, the two of them weren't the household stars they are today, but they recognized each other's talent and potential.
During the Elle interview, Monáe also shared that the two of them have another thing in common, in addition to their jobs. The two ladies have the same birthday, December 1. Monáe called Kravitz her "birthday twin," adding that she sees a lot of common ground between the two of them.
"There are absolutely a lot of similarities that, after spending time with you at your place in Brooklyn or even watching you from afar, I'm like, Wow. We have a straight-up-ness that I don't see a lot in this industry," Monáe said to Kravitz. The two of them seem to have bonded over their experiences in the entertainment industry — and their refusal to let fame change who they are.
As for their new song together, "Screwed" is a sex-positive anthem you'll want to listen to all summer long. The song's chorus mentions being "sex crazy," but the song has a deeper message, too.
"Screwed" doesn't shy away from politics, even though its lyrics might seem, at first listen, to be only about sex. There are lyrics about men "blocking equal pay" while simultaneously "telling me cover up my areolas." And in the last verse of the song, Monáe says that "The devil met with Russia, and they just made a deal." It's not hard to guess who the singer is referring to.
The song's point is a good one: Women's bodies and actions are all too often criticized, while other issues go unaddressed. And Kravitz was the perfect person for Monáe to team up with on the song. The Gemini actor is outspoken about politics, often using her platform to discuss ending gun violence. If people focused less on shaming women for their decisions, there'd be more time devoted to addressing things like equal pay and gun violence. And the fact that the song is a straight-up banger is just an added bonus.