Janelle Monáe & Grimes' Music Video Looks Epic

by Mary Grace Garis

If you've been eagerly awaiting the video for Grimes' collaboration with Janelle Monáe, "Venus Fly," I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the music video dropped Thursday, and as you would expect from a collaboration between dynamic characters and eccentric women, the music video looks insane. The sneak preview show snippets of Grimes and Monáe clad in latex gloves and mohawked helmets wielding fire swords; it's all very dystopian haute couture. The bad news is that if you're wondering how to watch the video for "Venus Fly," it isn't going to be as easy as strolling over to YouTube... at least not yet.

As Grimes announced Wednesday, the video for "Venus Fly" is a TIDAL exclusive, and therefore only currently available if you have a subscription for Jay Z's streaming service. This was met with considerable outcry from fans who felt deprived of the video. To that, Grimes went on her Twitter account and wrote, "re: people who r angry about the music vid being exclusive to Tidal -they are patrons of the arts! without tidal, there would be no video," punctuating the message with a strawberry emoji (very cute). Is the video going to be held hostage there forever, though, or will those of us without subscriptions get to see it?

Here's the thing: Grimes' fanbase is arguing that it's a shame people who can't afford a subscription will be denied her talents, and that this was a money-based decision. Grimes counter-argued that when she said that TIDAL is patrons of the arts, she means it pretty literally. TIDAL funded the video, whereas she wrote in a comment on Instagram that she "put in literally hundreds of hours of unpaid work myself, conceptualizing, directing, editing, colouring, making the trailers, making the trailers, etc." She also noted that all of her other videos are free on YouTube and that she works hard to keep her ticket prices down.

Most importantly, though, Grimes noted, "this was done solely for art for y'all that'll effectively be be free for ur consumption later" and to be chill until then. So yes, Virginia, "Venus Fly" will eventually be available on YouTube, although the exact date of when is still undetermined.

If you're one of the lucky ones with a TIDAL subscription, you can catch the video in full here. Otherwise, feel free to watch this preview from Grimes' Instagram to satiate yourself for the time being.