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Singer-songwriter Janelle Monae is a Kansas City native heavily influenced by Nona Hendryx's muscular combination of funk and rock. Monae first gained national attention through her featured appearances on the soundtrack to the Outkast musical, IDLEWILD. Monae self-released the quirky, science-fiction-influenced five-track EP METROPOLIS SUITE I OF IV: THE CHASE in 2007. Online buzz surrounded the EP, and Monae signed to Bad Boy Records to release an expanded seven-song version, METROPOLIS: THE CHASE SUITE, in 2008.