Madonna was a pioneer in terms of exposing many marginalized cultures to the mainstream in the eighties and early nineties. She helped bring Latino culture into the mainstream with “La Isla Bonita” and was a pioneer in the gay rights movement by exposing society to “Vogue” and other gay-themed works, such as “Truth or Dare.” However, today’s social justice warriors consider anybody who is white a bad person when they integrate other cultures in their work. The Huffington Post interviewed Madonna and here is what she had to say about it.
“Oh, they can kiss my ass. I’m not appropriating anything. I’m inspired and I’m referencing other cultures. That is my right as an artist. They said Elvis Presley stole African-American culture. That’s our job as artists, to turn the world upside down and make everyone feel bewildered and have to rethink everything.”
As the Huffington Post notes, Madonna has always run into cultural appropriation controversies, though they didn’t ignite as much controversy as they did now. In 1998, Madonna performed a Hindu-themed “Shanti,” followed by “Ray of Light.” The World Vaishnava Association complained, but Madonna did not back down. And she’s not prepared to back down from anything today.
This week, after several leaks, Madonna released her album Rebel Heart and she has received, for the most part, her best reviews in years. Andy Gill of the Independent says that Rebel Heart reinforces Madonna’s musical relevance.
“If any confirmation were required of Madonna’s sustained cultural relevance, it was surely provided by a mere wardrobe malfunction out-shining the combined micro-celebrity wattage of the entire Brit Awards line-up. It’s fortunate, then, that this ironic triumph should be followed by confirmation of her musical relevance. Rebel Heart capitalizes on the comeback charm of 2012’s ‘MDNA,’ and in places repeats aspects of its success.”
Jedd Gottlieb of the Boston Herald says Madonna remains the Queen of Pop with Rebel Heart.
“I wish Madonna didn’t carry the burden of being 56 in a world where Britney is ancient at 33, because Madge’s new album is her best this century. If we could forget how old she looks (she could barely pass for 45, gasp!) or how last month’s Grammy performance was less than awesome, we could focus on how great ‘Rebel Heart’ is.”
However, there are some critics who think Madonna is wasting her time still trying to shock, especially with songs like “S.E.X.” But don’t count on Madonna to ever listen to her critics: that’s one of the reasons she is still around today. Do you think Madonna should ever tone down her act? Let us know in the comments section.
[Photo credit: Interscope Records]