Nothing is sacred in this world, privacy is a privilege at best and everybody is truly the fucking worst.
Madonna‘s upcoming album, which is still untitled because that’s how unfinished it is, has leaked early. Or, at least up to 13 full demos worth have surfaced from the upcoming MDNA follow-up. It’s an unprecedented kind of fuck-up for a pop icon’s campaign: Sure, Britney‘s legendary 2007 record Blackout all but entirely leaked in demo form about a month prior to its release, but the album was already in place, forcing the record label to merely bump up the release date by a few weeks. This, in comparison, is a nightmare.
Whether it was a Madge-loving cyber-hacker, a record label intern being paid off by a thirsty stan or someone in her circle who just can’t keep a secret (Lourdes, what are you doing over there on your laptop, dear?), these songs are floating around: “Unapologetic Bitch.” “Bitch I’m Madonna.” “Messiah.” “Iconic.” “Living For Love.” They’re all out — the same songs she’s been Instagramming and hashtagging about for over a year now.
I feel incredibly sad for Madonna today. Not for her chart numbers or her sales: This isn’t going to break the bank or end her reign, obviously. She’s a rich bitch with a million houses (and a driver and a jet, a trainer and a butler and a bodyguard or five), but all that has nothing to do with it. No one makes money on records anymore, anyway.
She’s still an artist, this is still her art. And frankly, she’s far too important to pop culture to have her record spill out in its unpolished entirety for lessers to casually download on a Wednesday morning. Her music must mean something more. She is the actual Queen Of Pop, and this wasn’t supposed to be the way it all went down.
Imagine what she might have been planning behind-the-scenes: A surprise concert in New York City. An official single debut on New Year’s Eve. A weird Instagram hashtag challenge to unlock a song. I don’t even know, it could have been a million things. That’s the fun of pop! The promotional journey toward the record is half the experience. It’s been over 20 years, and people are still talking about her Pajama Party on MTV to promote Bedtime Stories.
I get a song leak or two beforehand. That happens. But why can’t she, or any other artist out there for that matter, have herself a proper campaign? Why can’t the material be presented as intended? Does everyone need to pull a Beyoncé (or be Taylor Swift) just to avoid this kind of invasion? It’s bullshit, and ultimately discouraging. Why even try at this point?
Of course I listened: There’s no use being a moral hero — once it’s out there, it’s out there. There’s no going back. And, for what it’s worth, the material is already light years ahead of MDNA, even in demo form. It’s more innovative and intriguing than her trend-hopping 2012 dance record. She’s really singing! Very American Life. Still, it’s pointless to review any of this at the moment, considering it will likely sound entirely different in finished form…if the album even sees the light of day.
She’s been right all along, though: Trust no bitch.
“This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demo’s half of which wont even make it on my album the other half have changed and evolved. This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?”
This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demo's half of which wont even make it on my album the other half have changed and evolved. This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?