Slow down, papi....
This song it my jam right now.
One, it has Madonna.
Two, it has Maluma
Three, it's about Medellin.
Let's talk about it:
I've been a Madonna fan for years. Years, daaahleeng.
Does she have the best voice in the business? No.
Is she the best dancer ever? Probably not.
Does she have peers to be compared to? At the beginning of her career, probably. Now? Not really.
Is she a feminist? Probably is, if you read Camille Paglia and Simone DeBeauvoir.
Is she the most innovative artist out there? That's debatable, according to some.
Is she Madonna? Yes. And that's enough for me.
Madonna has been part of the national discourse even before she came down that wedding cake in the first ever MTV VMAs. The girl from Michigan on once told Dick Clark she was going to rule the world went on to be one of the world's more recognizable faces and names and after 36 years in the public eye, she's still Madonna. She has championed for the LGBTQ community when nobody else would touch us with a ten foot pole. She’s done many things and has irked everybody and their uncle. In many forums I've seen the trite 'she's too old' excuse to bash her ( proving her point about ageism) but in my book, that just doesn't fly. Mick Jagger is in his seventies, as well as Paul McCartney. Mick still wears skinny jeans. Paul sings about romance. And so what? Oh, it's not the same talent? They're entertainers and singers-songwriters too. So there. Women don't have to be 'proper' once they are over thirty. They don't have to be 'ladies'. Especially not the woman who had a book called 'Sex' come out with her Erotica record or the woman who was excommunicated by the catholic church.
Madonna's been accused of oh so many things during her career: from gold digger to scandalous to shrewd appropriation of other cultures, to blind exploitation of the LGBTQ sector to being a heartless bitch. She's probably been or done one or all of those things at a certain point in her career. She's been in the public eye for more than thirty years and she's been through almost every phase other artists seldom go through. And she's still here. So yeah. I think she was cool then and that she's cool now and I think she's an innovator. She's at a point in her career where she can basically do as she pleases. And she does. And that pisses people off.
Now she's going on a theater tour promoting her Madame X record that'll come in June and I can't wait to see her. I've been to three of her concerts and have always been blown away by her professionalism and the hard work she puts in her live shows. She has been accused of sounding like Minnie Mouse on helium, but the girl CAN perform. The theater tour is going to be another experience altogether, and it's selling out quickly. I hope I can make it to one.
Now, Maluma. He's charismatic, he's magnetic and he's hot. He apparently started singing very young and was known as a reggaeton artist but has evolved and grown until he's collaborated with Shakira, Ricky Martin and Thalia, who are all big names in the Latin music world. He personifies that braggadocio and attitude some Latinx men cultivate like a fine art. He's a burgeois Chirrete. He's the upper middle class polished version of the boy toy from La Virgen de Los Sicarios. The fact that he's a pretty boy always helps, of course. I first heard of him because she was in a Shakira song and I immediately recognized in him all the Latinx men I've dated or wanted. He channels that sweet but psycho vibe very well.
He's fielded one or ten controversies in Colombia. Some hot gossip say he may be gay. His quick raise in the Billboard charts has been marked with both praise and doubt. Will he make it? Who knows. He's no Juanes. Still, he's making music beyond his niche and his star keeps shining. There may be a future for this pretty boy.
Medellin. That's where Maluma is from and I'm sure he taught Madonna how to correctly pronounce the name. You see, Medellin's dialect is very specific and the 'll' sound is pronounced like you pronounce Cher. Paisa style. So yeah. That rules (also, when Maluma says "ay que riiiiicoo" I immediately get goosebumps and yes, the tingle to mingle). Medellin has a special place in my heart because one of the men I've loved the most in my life came from that city. I met him there and the memories of me being there with him stay with me even though he's not. I also have the best (and one or two of the worst) memories from my time in that city. I have friends there. I have friends from my life in Medellin that are now sprinkled all around the world (No es cierto, Turo?). I'll have to go back one day. Hopefully sooner than later.
And so now this video came out. It's been awhile for Madonna. Last time for her was with Rebel Heart (her 13th album) and I enjoyed many of those songs. Medellin is full of the Madonna imagery I know and I love the visuals. It looks like a chiaroscuro painting at some moments. It has Madonna doing Madonna in a wedding dress and cowboy hat and boots and Maluma doing Maluma in what looks like Dolce and Gabanna, which is what I expected. It also has a hypnotic, mesmerizing rhythm (Mirwais' version of reggaeton?) that makes me wanna get down. I just love the vibe it gives. Will it be a hit a la Like a Virgin? Probably not. But that's not the aim, I guess. She may not be in it to bring this album to the top of the charts. I understand the money is in touring, and she sells out theater shows at the same pace she sells arenas and I guess that I this point she does not do it for the money or fame. I find her to be a very creative person, with many layers in her artistic output, so she may be doing what she does because that's what artists do.
So yeah. Madonna. And Maluma. Or is it Madame X and Maluma? I don't really care because she'll probably come up with another persona in three years. The thing is that now I have one more song to help me get into the groove.
Oh, and the remixes!