Janelle Monáe discusses ‘The Age of Pleasure, weed and more for new ‘Rolling Stone’ cover

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Janelle Monáe has battled ADHD, perfectionism and other dark moments in her personal life, but now, she says, “I’ve changed my whole f****** lifestyle.”

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the singer/actress, who appears on June’s cover, delves into her new life, which  includes her sexier fashion looks, focusing on the present rather the future and even smoking weed — a habit she picked up during the COVID pandemic.

“I grew up fearful of marijuana because I had parents who were addicts,” Janelle explains, referring to her dad’s crack-cocaine use. “They would always say, ‘Weed is the gateway drug to being a crackhead,’ and I grew up with that in my mind and heart.”

When COVID-19 hit, the singer figured she’d test it out and see if it affected her full-on “anxiety attacks.” “I was like, ‘We’re in the middle of a pandemic,’ ” Janelle says. “‘I’m not on the road, let me test out weed."”

Janelle’s newfound freedom is reflected in the title of her new album, The Age of Pleasure, which is “inspired by all of my friends, my community of folks who are from South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, the Caribbean, Atlanta, L.A., Chicago.”

“Seeing all of us together in our Blackness, in the love that we had in our eyes for each other. People from the continent f*** around with trap from Atlanta. You know what I’m saying? I love how the diaspora — we talk to each other,” she says.

Janelle adds “this album is not about a fight,” but about “living in an oasis created by us for us.”

She continued, “Even with everything going on in the world, this is our moment to breathe together, unapologetically taking this beat to enjoy — to hurry up and live.”

The Age of Pleasure drops June 9.

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