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Janelle Monáe Finally Releases New Single ‘Float’ in Its Entirety

After teasing it on social media and NBA promos, Monáe drops four-minute version of long-awaited track

After Janelle Monáe teased her new single “Float” on social media last month, the singer finally capitulated to fan demand and released the song in its entirety on Thursday.

In a press release, “according to sources closest to Monáe,” the single is “inspired by Muhammed Ali talking shit in Zaire, 1974, Jane’s evolution, Mary Poppins’ umbrella, Aladdin’s magic carpet, Ja Morant’s flotation to the rim while dunking on his ops, Sara Elise’s ropes, excerpts from Paramahmsa Nithyananda’s talks on levitation, Raul’s toast on Dec 1, and Bruce Lee’s mighty philosophy on being ‘shapeless, formless,’ and becoming one with your surroundings, to be like water…”

“Float,” featuring horns by Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, has been floating around since late 2022, when the track appeared in promos for ABC/ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime campaign, with Monáe also narrating the ads. 

The song then reemerged when Monáe soundtracked a recent tropical getaway with a 30-second snippet in January and during a video celebrating LeBron James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. As noted by Atlantic Records, “Float” will continue to appear in NBA promos throughout the regular season. 


Monáe will also take part in the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game in Salt Lake City and appear on the Friday, Feb. 17 episode of ESPN’s NBA Today to discuss “Float” and her ongoing NBA partnership.

While the singer’s most recent studio album was 2018’s Dirty Computer, Monáe released two singles in 2021, including “Stronger” (from Netflix’s We the People) and “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout).”

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