Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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Janelle Monáe | Dirty Computer
Wondaland/Bad Boy/Atlantic (2018)
Selected by Quentin Harrison
Metaphor and subtext were major components for Metropolis: Suite 1 (The Chase) (2007), TheArchAndroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013)—Dirty Computer changed everything for Janelle Monáe. Without turning down the flame on her saucy grooves and astute songwriting, Monáe dropped the subtext and only used metaphor as a device to emphasize that she was no longer hiding her sexual identity as a bisexual/pansexual woman.
Beyond any of the critical plaudits it gained in the wake of its unveiling, Dirty Computer is also irrefutable proof that black queer youth culture has produced one of its brightest artists that will endure for years to come.