Janelle Monáe Will Have You Slipping Down the “Water Slide” This Weekend With Their New Video

Janelle Monáe is back at it, melting brains with the music video for their song “Water Slide”, the latest from their album The Age of Pleasure. We’re still recovering from the “Lipstick Lover” video, and now this? Life will never be the same.

I have already written about how much I’m loving the era of Janelle Monáe’s music. She said “titties out” and damn it, they’re sticking to it. And while the titties are a little less out in the video for “Water Slide”, don’t fret. It’s still very much a product of the era they’re currently in. From what I can tell, there’s a good chance Monáe filmed all of the content for this album at the same time, because the aesthetics are exactly the same. I love the idea of them spending an entire day (or maybe several days!) hanging out with a bunch of cool ass people making all of the content for the album.

“Water Slide” is one of my favorite songs on the album, and not solely because it’s very clearly about self-pleasure. That idea isn’t entirely reflected in the video, but the allusions to it are definitely there.

The video opens with Monáe standing in a backyard surrounded by people clearly dressed for a day by the pool. A few feet away, someone is standing opposite them holding on to their long braids, and people treat the hair like a limbo stick, dancing under it. This is a visual that gets repeated several times throughout the video, and it is no less enjoyable to watch each time. I truly cannot fathom having enough hair that someone could use it as a limbo stick, but the idea of dancing under such a thing tickles me to no end. Heck, it might even tickle literally.

Backyard summer party is really the theme of The Age of Pleasure in general, and we got that vibe from the slick “Lipstick Lover” video, but it really comes through in “Water Slide”. Sonically, the song feels like something you’d play while swimming in the pool and chilling with your friends. Definitely the kind of song you’d dance to after having several glasses of frosé. Monáe plays the bass alongside a band on the grass and takes center stage alongside a group of dancers mimicking the same swimming moves they’re singing about. It makes me want to spend a day at the pool with a bunch of cool, Black queer folks.

Monáe wears a series of cute bikinis in the video — the main one they wear has lemon slices covering their nipples, being held up with nothing but string. They are also topless multiple times; the scenes in the pool emulate the album’s cover almost perfectly. Several others are topless too; someone in the Autostraddle team Slack noticed that one of the partygoers had top surgery scars. It almost makes me want to go tits out in the sunshine, but I’ll leave that to the people who are much hotter than me.

Now if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to watch the video another dozen times.

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Sa'iyda Shabazz

Sa'iyda is a writer and mom who lives in LA with her partner, son and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. She has yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie she doesn't like, spends her free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as she can, and has spent the better part of her life obsessed with late 90s pop culture.

Sa'iyda has written 115 articles for us.


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