The Electric Lady found Monáe standing tall for her race and her sex and envisaging a society where one can exist without needing to stay within preset boundaries. She addresses the first female/LGBT astronaut Sally Ride on this song as well as the fight against oppression and prejudice.
Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (1951-2012) achieved national ranking as a tennis player, but chose not to follow this as a career. She was chosen as an astronaut candidate by NASA, and in 1983 she was selected to serve on a six-day flight of the orbiter Challenger, becoming the first American woman to reach outer space. The bisexual Ride engaged in a lesbian relationship with the writer Tam O'Shaughnessy from 1985 until her death on July 23, 2012 from pancreatic cancer.
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."