Music News: Prince helped with new Janelle Monae album

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Janelle Monae at the 'Black Panther' premiere.
Janelle Monae at the 'Black Panther' premiere. (VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

Music fans have been seriously grooving to the new tracks from Janelle Monáe’s forthcoming album Dirty Computer. Specifically, Prince fans immediately picked up some serious purple vibes on the song "Make Me Feel."

That's no coincidence. Monáe and Prince were known to be mutual musical admirers, and now Monáe has revealed that Prince actually participated in the creation of Dirty Computer. "Prince actually was working on the album with me before he passed on to another frequency," Monáe told the BBC, "and helped me come up with sounds. I really miss him, it's hard for me to talk about him."

In another interview, Monáe added that Prince was "collecting sounds" for the album. What does that mean, exactly? We won't know for sure until the album comes out on April 27 and we see the full credits, but DJ Lenka Paris wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post that the song's synth hook was actually played by Prince. (Consequence of Sound)

Joan Baez announces "last formal" North American tour

Folk legend Joan Baez has announced a long string of dates for what she says will be her last "formal" North American tour. The tour starts in Ithaca, N.Y. on Sept. 11 and wraps up on Nov. 17 in Oakland, Calif. — with a stop at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on Oct. 6.

Baez's upcoming studio album, Whistle Down the Wind, is out March 2. It includes "a mixture of cover songs and originals from artists like Tom Waits, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Anohni, Josh Ritter and Eliza Gilkyson," notes Rolling Stone.

Flea speaks out about addiction

Flea has authored an op-ed in USA Today, writing about his history with substance abuse and arguing that there should be more resources directed towards supporting people addicted to opioids.

"Back when I was a petty thievin' Hollywood street urchin running feral, and doing every drug in the book, the dangers were clear. Cops busted me, drug dealers burned me, accidental overdoses happened and scary gun-toting criminals lurked in the shadows," writes the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist.

"But what if your dealer was someone you'd trusted to keep you healthy since you were a kid? Many who are suffering today were introduced to drugs through their healthcare providers. When I was a kid, my doctor would give me a butterscotch candy after a checkup. Now, they're handing out scripts. It's hard to beat temptation when the person supplying you has a fancy job and credentials and it's usually bad advice not to trust them."

Where's the Frank Ocean vinyl?

With the vinyl boom continuing unabated, record collectors are used to dealing with production delays. Frank Ocean fans still waiting for vinyl they ordered last fall, though, say the unexplained delay in shipping physical copies of the album Endless has become...well, endless.

"We do not yet have an estimated time-frame for when this will ship," says a representative from the marketing company handling the sales. An extra bummer for fans who expected their LPs by the end of January: their accounts were charged at time of purchase. (Pitchfork)

Chris Cornell sings Johnny Cash

Chris Cornell’s track from the forthcoming album Forever Words has been released — along with a behind-the-scenes video where the late Soundgarden frontman talks about Johnny Cash’s influence on him.

The album, which comes out on April 6, features musicians like Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Brad Paisley, Kacey Musgraves, and Roseanne Cash singing Johnny Cash poems set to music.

Cornell's song, "You Never Knew My Mind," combines two poems that he believes were inspired by Cash's divorce from his first wife, Vivian. "I can't listen to it without it laying me down," says Cash's son John Carter Cash, who co-produced the album. (Rolling Stone)


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