It’s a common refrain by those upset that the future isn’t nearly futuristic enough: Where are all the damn flying cars? As it turns out, the answer was always inside us all along, provided that our hearts contained the words “In Janelle Monáe’s new music video, alongside police drones, David Bowie impersonators, and a surprisingly bleak twist ending.”
The new video—for “Crazy, Classic, Life,” off Monáe’s recent, phenomenal Dirty Computer—sees her and Tessa Thompson cruising along in a hovercar (or possibly a landspeeder), ducking cop-bots, and trying to make their way to one of those futuristic dance parties/weddings/incipient orgies that always seem to be breaking out in the world of music videos. The whole thing is astoundingly euphoric, at least until the last moments, when Monáe and director Alan Ferguson brings some semblance of the real world crashing back down.
The visuals that make up “Crazy, Classic, Life” have actually been around for a few months now; they’re an excerpt of a longer piece (or an “emotion picture,” in Monáe’s terminology) that she put together to accompany Dirty Computer. You can watch the full thing, complete with a vision of the future where we’re all “dirty computers” that need to be rendered conforming and “clean,” here: