Monáe, Janelle - Ghetto Woman Lyrics

[Verse 1:]
Carry on Ghetto Woman
I see you working night to morning light yet no one cares
Carry on Ghetto Woman
Cause even though they laugh and talk about the clothes you wear
I wish they could just realize
That all you’ve ever needed was someone to free your mind
Carry on Ghetto Woman
Cause even in your darkest hours I still see your light

And when you cry don’t you know that I am crying with you?
When people put you down, yeah way down and you feel
like you’re alone
Let love be your guide
You were built to last through any weather
Oh Ghetto Woman hold on to your dreams
And all your great philosophies
You’re the reason I believe in me, for real

[Verse 2:]
Carry on Ghetto Woman
When you doubt if you’re a star, just know we still believe
Carry on Ghetto Woman
Even when the news portrays you less than you could be
I wish they could just realize
All you ever needed was someone to free your mind
Carry on Ghetto Woman
You’re the 7th wonder reigning over us at night

When you cry, don’t you know we’re right there crying with you
People put you down, yeah way down and you feel like you’re alone
Let love be your guide
You were built to last through any weather
Oh Ghetto Woman hold on to your dreams and all your great philosophies
You’re the reason I believe in me, for real

Some say this ghetto land will take you down and poison you
Some say she can do all the things a man can do
Who said the ghetto’s just a place where queens dance naked on the moon?
We say a woman came to change the face of each and every room

[Verse 3 (Rap):]
When I was just a baby my momma dropped out of school
It was only second semester the baby due
The doctor said “December the first your due date”
The daddy he was gone off to college he couldn’t wait
Only just a teen with dreams to be on TV
And living with a mom and my grandma who used to feed me
We would move around in the city place to place
The landlord come for the rent face to face
Her eyes too heavy from working nights as a janitor
She’d keep it to herself and nobody could understand her
Even when she thought that she couldn’t she carried on
She couldn’t imagine both of her daughters here all alone
Before the tuxedos and black and white every day
Used to watch my momma get down on her knees and pray
She’s the reason that I’m even writing this song
Ghetto Woman no it won’t be long. Now sing along

Let it use you
Let it use you
When the love is strong
It won’t let you be alone
Let it use you
Just let the spirit lead you

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Monáe, Janelle Ghetto Woman Comments
  1. Lucas H.

    This song deserved a good music video. The song is too good

  2. Quinn Rouse

    Janelle + electric guitars = divine sound

  3. Rare Onyxx

    im digging that 1973 Stevie-ish Vibe!!! Janelle Rocks!!!!

  4. julian Foy

    all of these sounds are from the past, but somehow it the end result sounds like the future? Janelle Monáe in a nutshell

  5. CherryCream Pie

    This song is so Intense and Inspiring 😩

  6. Dyastro

    she is literally talking about her mother i think. i heard her mother was a janitor and her father a garbage man somewhere

  7. therealshakar

    This song is extremely dope sonically, melodically and vocally. It''s written and produced very well.

  8. littlegee

    Trouble with this track is that the production is absolutely terrible. It's obviously trying to emulate that classic early 70's Stevie Wonder vibe but the mix is muddy, instruments and vocals lost in a wall of mushy bass, sequenced drums and synths. This needs the Moog bass upfront, real percussion and drums and the vocals need more space. I'm no audio engineer but I know what my ears tell me. The singer is good but she needs much better musicians around her and needs to decide where her strength lies as she is trying too hard to be a jack of all trades. She also needs to develop her songwriting skills and live life a little as nothing she has written is that memorable or meaningful. Shame as she is one of the better pop acts around but is being led up the wrong path.


    @maccagrabme I'm trying to actually understand your criticism. What would you say is a well-produced song of Janelle Monae?


    +leeardamer Well I think her best tracks are it's code and Can't live without your love also although its a bit commercial I think Tightrope is good visually and a good blend between 60's and modern r&b.


    @maccagrabme What about her suites? They also sound somewhat muffled but I guess that's on purpose, right?... Like Suite IV Overture

    Jo Rap

    +maccagrabme So in other words, you think she's pretentious? Hm maybe it's her song choices? Personally, I like them, but yeah I know where you are getting at. She doesn't necessarily have to live life a little; art can be inspired by the microcosm. If she sung about how she used to work at Home Depot like how Lauren Hill sung about working at Foot Locker, or sung about drinking the best glass of OJ on a Thursday morning, we would see a realer, grittier side of Monae. Better yet, listen to "The Audition", it was released in 2003 by Monae. You might prefer this album over her recent stuff.


    Is this Anthony Fraudtano??

  9. frederick cobbs

    U must understand and bn through it with that woman

  10. ramo retrac

    Great song writing.. I would love to do a song with you...ramo.

  11. #Ayeni!

    This is such a beautiful use of Stevie wonder's sound. It even sounds like an upbeat version of "boogie on reggae woman" with a hint of "ebony eyes" it's cuz of the synths!!!! I LOVE YOU JANELLE MONAE

  12. Fleezy81



    Sounds like one of his, I know janelle is a massive fan of his

  13. th3azscorpio

    without a doubt the best song on the album*

  14. Aliah Ullah

    As soon as this song started playing I thought of stevie wonder. Scrolled down to find out many people also thought the same. Yay! Love janelle! And stevie of course!

  15. Slushie_Soccer

    Janelle Monae's freestyle or rap was fire! She is so amazing!

  16. D R

    I love this song, reminds me of "Black Man" from Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key Of Life Album". The instrumentation has an heavy influence of that song :)

    Mark Frieser

    @Destiny Walther That's a fantastic catch - that's exactly what it sounds like.

    D R

    @Mark Frieser awesome! Thought I was the only one that noticed it! I'm a huge Stevie Wonder fan as well. Does not exactly replicate it but the instrumentation, underlying bass & synthesizer styling that's used has a influence of it. Instead of her talking about "Black Man"/Men of other races she's speaking about good things about Women (black Women) from her perspective, just like Stevie did in Black Man.

  17. Thobeka Ngcobo

    How amazingly powerful is this song?! Potent message! Once again thank you, Miss Monae!

  18. pureblackmist6x6

    This is a song uplifting Black women, who are the most shat on people in our society. I love her <3.

    Mark Frieser

    @pureblackmist6x6 there needs to be more music with messages like this. She's such an amazing talent.

    Bossbunny Inlife

    +Mark Frieser
    we really do

    mathias antonio

    BS native American Woman are so shat on people try and erase them

    I can't think of a good username

    As a latino woman with light skin who lives in a hood in a third world country, I feel uplifted by this song.

  19. Pedro Esteves

    Beautiful, inspiring and moving. I really love Janelle and I hope she always get this reflexive, The Electric Lady is such an amazing album. A masterpiece!

  20. Eleonora Pietronudo

    Wow! Wonderful message and great song :) The rapping part was also amazing!

  21. Danielle Jackson

    The song is like a mix of living for the city (in lyrics) and another star (in instrumentation)

  22. David Stewart


  23. I can't think of a good username

    This has michael jackson's sound all over it!

    Nonekbone tone

    I'm hearing more of a Stevie Wonder.

  24. Mishellian Ram

    Totes songs in the key of life....


    OMG you get it so much!!!!

  25. Mishellian Ram

    Totes songs in the key of life....

  26. Deborah Burke

    LOVE THE RAP! That's some rapping there boy.

  27. Tomilola Adeyanju

    Jamiroquai vibe

  28. Häji Moezi

    This song reminds me of something Stevie Wonder would of sung, she's so underrated 

    girl blue

    Oh my gawsh. I so agree!!!


    EXACTLY!!!! I so agree

    Caleb Oliver

    I totally agree too!

  29. Cheryl Pierce

    So true sister,so true.

  30. jana phoenix

    Love to miss monae, thanks for writing such an awesome tribute to your mama.

  31. Nyssa James

    Also mj I cant help it beat I hear it

  32. Evelyn B

    Okay Janelle Monae but this song just stupid

    Nickel Pack

    Your comment is stupid and now saschay away

    The One and Only Tee

    How is this song stupid? Because it's a uplifting song about the hardworking women who live in the hood? And the song is a tribute to her mother.

    Hannah Life


    Nickel Pack

    Girl thats not constructive critisim

  33. Melissa McEwen

    The title reminds me Stevie Wonder's Boogie on Reggae Woman

  34. IvaNFJ

    4 people are deaf :(

  35. Beau Laurence

    a nod to Stevie Wonder's Ghetto Land with 2014 third-wave feminist lyrics <3

  36. Crystal White

    I wonder if she's some kin to Rasheeda. They really favor.

  37. curlytea

    I definitely hear the Stevie Wonder in this track. That girl is really doin' her thing. :)

  38. Julia Renee Green

    This is my daily track workout preparation song I listen to before I go to indoor track practice. I especially rewind the part from 2:55 to 4:32 to get me pumped. At first, I couldn't quite understand why this song moved me in such a way, but the more I listen to it, the more I understand it... "Let it use you, let it use you. When the love is strong, it won't let you be alone. Let it use you, just let the spirit lead you." This has become my Track Anthem song...

  39. 312TmT

    First time I heard this, i was like: Carry oooon, get a woman! XD

  40. bsure

    Indeed - it's like "Bird of Beauty", "Ngiculela - Es Un Historia" and "Another Star" all merged into one

  41. Dollface Couture

    Stevie Wonder Inspired!!!!!!!!!!!!