97 Words: “Phenomenal” by Janelle Monáe & Doechii

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

This song is part of our “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist. Check out the full list.

Coming into one’s own requires a commanding level of self-confidence. Janelle Monáe’s embodiment of “free ass muthafucker” over the last several years reached new heights with the release of her latest, summer-ready album “The Age of Pleasure.” On the album cut “Phenomenal,” Monáe taps newbie Doechii to join them in a celebration of both phenomenal face and “phenomenal puss.” Opening the track, Monáe proclaims: “I’m looking at 1,000 versions of myself and they’re all fine. as. fuck. Say it to my face… bitch.” The question is asked (“How you feel?”) and answered (“Phenomenal!”); it’s not up for debate.

Listen to “Phenomenal,” or purchase “The Age of Pleasure” on vinyl

In celebration of summer, the staff at THE 97 has compiled a playlist containing some of our favorite summer songs, from then and now. Each day we will reveal one song, rotating daily between past and present with pairings from 1998 and 2023, for a total of 97 days/songs. Since we love nostalgia, we’re celebrating summer songs from 1998 as they turn 25, alongside new songs that we feel deserve some shine. Pairings could be thematic, sonic, or based connections between the artists.

Check out our full “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist here

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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.