Put some champagne in your chalice and find a comfortable seat on the couch because on Thursday, April 26 Janelle Monáe is premiering her Dirty Computer short film. The 44-minute "emotion pic," as she's calling it, will premiere exclusively on BET at midnight, and on MTV at 8 a.m. EST on Friday. It will also stream on MTV and BET's sister networks: MTV2, MTV Live, mtvU, BET Jams, BET Soul, and BET Her. But for those who can't catch it live, don't worry, you'll be able to stream Monáe's short film Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture starring Tessa Thompson.
UPDATE: On Friday morning, around 10 a.m. EST, Monáe's Dirty Computer became available to watch on YouTube.
EARLIER: The Dirty Computer visual — which accompanies Monáe's fourth album of the same name, out April 27 — will be available via YouTube. Though, at this time, it's unclear when it will be available. (Bustle reached out to Monáe's team for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.) Of course, some lucky fans in New York and L.A. have already seen the film courtesy of live screenings. One of those lucky fans was Lupita Nyong'o, who showed up to Monáe's NYC screening at Lincoln Center, and even shared a dance with the singer to her Prince-esque track "Make Me Feel."
As for what the Dirty Computer short film is about, Monáe told Billboard it's a "near-future story about a citizen who finds love and danger in a totalitarian society. She’s an outlaw because she’s being herself." In it, Monáe plays Jane 57821, who's living in a totalitarian future society where people are referred to as “computers.” She hopes that the picture will "reflect what’s happening in the streets right now, and what might happen tomorrow if we don't band together and fight for love.”
With this new album, Monáe is opening up about her own sexuality for the first time. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Monáe identified herself as a "queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women." Monáe told the magazine she originally identified as bisexual, "but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.' I'm open to learning more about who I am."
The idea that this album is about love and discovery, also computes with the clips she's released. In the days before releasing Dirty Computer, Monáe has teased four videos from the album, including her fierce rap battle "Django Jane," the smooth R&B jam "I Like That," the bisexual anthem "Make Me Feel," and "PYNK" featuring Grimes which gave us those pink pussy pants. The look makes sense, since Monáe rapped about letting the "vagina have a monologue" on "Django Jane."
While Dirty Computer is about her own journey to find pride in her sexuality, Monáe told Rolling Stone she wants anyone struggling with their identity to know this is for them. She said:
"I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you. This album is for you. Be proud."
This visual album is allowing fans to see a different side of Monáe, who produced the film, which was directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning. It also includes collaborations with video directors Emma Westenberg, Lacey Duke, and Alan Ferguson, who just so happens to be Solange's husband and collaborator.
On Wednesday, Monáe shared the tracklist for Dirty Computer and revealed collaborations with Pharrell, Zoë Kravitz, and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, who's on the title track, which was inspired by Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye character Pecola Breedlove. Don't be surprised if you get a Prince vibe from the project. Monáe previously told BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac that Prince worked on Dirty Computer before he died.
Of course, this project is all Monáe. And with the Dirty Computer short film she's putting it all out there for the world to see. Luckily, the world won't have to wait too much longer to see it.