Old People

Why Does Madonna Keep Trolling Us?

Well, it's official. The entire genre of pop music is trolling us. And while there have been plenty of recent offenders — remember that Britney Spears/Iggy Azalea-led "Pretty Girls" fiasco, anyone? — this time Madonna is at the helm. Madge dropped "Bitch, I'm Madonna," her newest video and a Tidal-exclusive video release (well, for 24 hours before it dropped on other platforms, anyway), late last week. And as one can gather from the title alone, it's every bit the hot mess we've come to expect from the longstanding pop star, who is quickly becoming the biggest pop troll of them all. 

So, let's talk about this "Bitch, I'm Madonna." For starters, it's ridiculous. Even the campaign leading up to the video dropping felt like a giant joke: it was emoji-heavy and ridiculous, but nothing could have prepared us for the actual video. Should you (unlike us) like to be spared from the video's wrath, you should know two things right off the bat: 1) There are indeed children dressed up in "Like a Virgin" regalia, and no one thought this was a bad idea; and 2.) Yes, bitch. Madge makes it clear that she is obviously still (na, na, na, na, na) Madonna. We're just not sure why she — and everyone in the video — keeps saying that like it's a good thing.
And by everyone, we do mean everyone. One of the biggest hype factors for this video train wreck (aside from the emojis, which should never be used in a serious fashion by anyone old enough to drive) has been all the celebrity cameos. Everyone from Beyonce to Katy Perry and uh...this dude who looks like Macklemore are in it (it's apparently just Diplo, FYI) are in it, and nearly all of them mouth "Bitch, I'm Madonna" at the camera for their big debuts. Groundbreaking stuff, y'all. Miley even shows up, and does what she does while she's just being Miley — she sticks out her tongue. Mhmm.You're welcome for that.

It gets better, though. Prior to, and in between, all those celeb video cameos, Madonna — who appears to be at some sort of pop-star-studded party — merely parades around acting like a spoiled millennial, writhing and grinding on just about everything and everyone she can get her hands on. And really, whatever with that (Madge can grind on whoever she wants to, we guess) but do we really need her to slap the asses of women of color in the middle of the damn hallway with a towel to prove her super-entitled point? Her glittery, party-like-a-Kaballah-rock-star antics, which were admittedly once shocking and new to the pop music game, and the super-charged-up sexualization of everyone and everything, now just seems kind of tired and lazy. And also kind of dizzying. Let's just not, Madge. Let's just not.

But it's not just the ass-slapping or the random writhing that make this thing seem completely out of touch with reality. It's just everything — every single second of this mess — that doesn't vibe with us. Sure, in theory it seems like it would be somewhat funny to see Madonna wander around a party forcing shots on people (read: no, it doesn't) or maybe even watch her bust out with a modified running man (see below if you don't believe us), but that doesn't translate on the screen at all. Those moments that could be kind of endearing — Kanye mouthing "Bitch, I'm Madonna," for example — are inexplicably tempered with moments where she showcases stripped-down Asian partiers in the tub, and it undoes any good the former may have done.

But this is hardly the first time Madge has pushed the envelope into so-absurd-it-feels-like-trolling territory. Remember her obsession with EDM and Molly on MDNA? Yeah, that shit was weird and overboard, too. Or what about when she Instagrammed her “term of endearment” to her white son, referring to him as “#disnigga”? Yeah, that shit was weird, too. And also kind of slightly racially offensive and blurry, like when she slaps black people on the ass with a towel, or wears a grill to the Grammys, or when she showcases naked dancing Asian women while doing the running man in this video.
Controversy for the sake of attention is the oldest troll play in the damn book, y'all, and Madonna plays that card at every turn. But because this is Madonna (bitch), we're still giving her A+ troll-game attention. And don't expect that to change post-Rebel Heart or "Bitch, I'm Madonna," either. Given the state of pop music at this point, it's fairly obvious we're all just content to keep on feeding the pop trolls — and Madonna — until the end of time. Not sure what Madge will recycle or appropriate next, but we do know one thing: at least the .gifs will be interesting.
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Angelica Leicht
Contact: Angelica Leicht