It's shocking someone as powerful and influential as Madonna could experience a mistake so problematic this far into the game. She's changed with the times ever since her career began. Madonna's seen first-hand how the music industry's grown (or shrunk... depending on your outlook) and the vulnerability an artist faces because of the digital age. 20 years ago, your plumbing leaked, not your album. Madonna needn't worry if the song she recorded in her cone bra would wind up in millions of fans' cassette players. When she decided to release her work, she could.
There was no medium for freely distributing music.
The bottom line for why her music leaked ahead of schedule is Madonna and her team of producers, record execs, handlers, whoever... were careless. Dare I say: too trusting?
I mentioned Beyonce because she is living proof an entire album (with corresponding music videos, mind you) can remain a secret/surprise.
What leaked anyway?
Two songs from "Iconic"/"Unapologetic Bitch" (both rumored album titles) found their way online on Thanksgiving (Nov. 27) called "Wash All Over Me" and "Rebel Heart." The Avicii-produced mid-tempos set the Internet ablaze because, OMG! NEW MADONNA MUSIC!
Millennials are no stranger to leaks. However, quite bizarre to hear a musician's work so far ahead of its album's release date, which in Madonna's case, is months away.
Madonna reacted to the leak by smashing an iPod (after returning from her visit with the impoverished in Malawi) with the caption:
This broken ipod is a symbol of my broken heart! That my music has been stolen and leaked! I have been violated as a human and an artist! #fuckedupshit
Imagine what shit she fucked up after another 11 songs trickled, erm, catapulted online this week.
1. Unapologetic Bitch
2. Bitch I'm Madonna
3. Addicted (The One That Got Away)
4. Borrowed Time
5. Heartbreak City
7. Joan Of Arc
8. Living 4 Love (Carry On)
9. Make The Devil Pray
Looking back, it's no surprise a good chunk of Madonna's recent work hit prematurely. The two songs that leaked initially were probably sold or traded unground (well-connected sources trade music artists have no idea is out of their control quite often. Like Britney Spears' "Blackout" album, trust) for two different songs, and so on and so forth. It takes the music getting into the hands of that one rabid fan, music lover, cruel intentioned bastard or D.) all of the above before they're uploading to Sharebeast and in your ears free of charge.
Madonna said after this week's devastation:
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?
Equating the destruction of her musical endeavors to rape is very Madonna. And a form of terrorism? Nice touch. Dramatic, but valid.
Where does she go from here?
Madonna could throw in the towel on music. Why pour your heart and soul into something that has the potential to create a world of heartbreaking chaos for you?
Because she's an unapologetic bitch.
Now that we've cleared that up, there's only one option left: carry on.
Not all is lost! There are many more "confirmed" tracks Madonna's recorded for her upcoming album, like "Autotune Baby," "Unapologetic Bitch" with Nicki Minaj, "Hot Tight," "Borrowed Time," "Art of Freedom," "Holy Water," "Trust No Bitch," "Score" "Eye Wide Open," "Iconic," "Inside Out," "Body Shop," "Two Steps Behind," "Veni Vedi Vici and "S.E.X."
You get the point.
I understand Madonna's anger, but take the opportunity to fine-tune a few of the leaked bangers ("Bitch I'm Madonna," "Illuminati" and "Revolution" should make the cut), add a handful more that haven't surfaced and record new ones. Take the anguish from said artistic rape trauma and create new art.
There's no immediate recourse for Madonna aside from picking herself up and getting focused on what's shaping up to be her most challenging record to date. What's alarming is she's set an eerie tone in the music industry where your work demands protection under lock and key... or else. We've now witnessed an A-list artist powerless at the hands of the consumer, and that is a scary thought for the creative.
Madonna has spoken, no, screamed: "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?"