If you’re looking for a little inspiration, just watch Janelle Monáe sing her soul out at the White House on Independence Day.
In the clip below, the Kansas City, Kan., native riffs: “My mama’s here, she was a janitor. And my daddy, he’s here too, he worked at the post office and used to do trash on the streets.”
“And I stand 5 feet tall and no matter how high I climb, and no matter how poor we used to be ... I’ll always stay on that tightrope.”
Monáe and Kendrick Lamar performed Monday at President Obama’s Fourth of July party for government officials and military families. While it was Lamar’s first performance at the White House, Monáe sang at PBS’ “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” in 2014.
Monáe also performed “Dance Apocalyptic,” “Q.U.E.E.N.,” “Electric Lady” and covered Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Lamar — whose song “How Much a Dollar Cost” is one of the president’s favorites — performed “Swimming Pools (Drank),” “Money Trees,” and “Poetic Justice,” among other songs.
But America’s birthday wasn’t the only one celebrated Monday. Malia Obama turned 18 on Independence Day and the president, like any good dad, embarrassed his daughter by leading the whole White House crowd in “Happy Birthday.”
The White House live streamed the whole day’s activities, which also included a naturalization ceremony, remarks from the president and, of course, fireworks on the National Mall.
Watch videos of the performances here:
Kate Miller: 816-234-4077, @_Kate_Miller_