As a youngster in Small Town, Iowa, I grew up listening to you, worshipping you, basically thinking there could never be anything better than your music ever in the history of time. I remember sneaking into my friend’s family room, pretending we were playing Barbies, but really turning the channel to MTV – a channel that was forbidden to six year olds like us – just hoping we would catch a moment of the “Like a Prayer” video. I would watch “Desperately Seeking Susan” repeatedly, although watching it today I realize I didn’t know half of what the movie was talking about, but it had you, and that’s all I needed.
When you rocked the halftime show at the Super Bowl, I was in your corner, tweeting up a storm. No one can hold down Madonna. Not even the fact that you’re aging gracefully but who are we kidding – you look better than ever. You killed that performance and everyone should be grateful we don’t have to sit through another boring spectacle like Paul McCartney or Bruce Springsteen for the umpteenth time just because Janet had a little snafu with her brassiere.
But now we get to Ultra… I’m a bit of an EDM fanatic. I’ve had the pleasure to work with the best of the best in this genre, from the creative minds of Electric Daisy Carnival to the genius nightlife teams at XS and Tryst and even some of the most celebrated artists like Tiesto, deadmau5, Calvin Harris, and more.
So you can imagine my disappointment when you got up on stage, in front of a sea of dance music fans, most probably between 18 and 25, and asked “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?” Really, Madonna? What.Were.You.THINKING.
I was even more disappointed when you came under fire and responded by pleading that you never encourage drug use, and you were really only talking about a song by Cedric Gervais. Really? So your dance album title MDNA has nothing to do with MDMA – the drug used for ecstasy. And you had no idea when asking at an electronic music festival – a scene that is commonly scrutinized for drug use by people that don’t understand it – that asking impressionable young adults if they had seen Molly, the slang name for ecstasy, would be a questionable move.
I’ve been a fan of yours for 20 years. But honey, I’m not buying it.
The relevance of ecstasy in the dance music world is a misconception that each of us devoted to the genre fight every day. As the music is exploding in popularity and reaching the main stream audience through major media outlets such as USA Today, Rolling Stone and more, we are taking two giant leaps forward. We fight on like I’m sure the pioneers of rock ‘n roll and hip hop did as they made their step into pop culture.
And yet – when you made these unintelligent remarks – had it not been for the criticism of deadmau5 - most media outlets would only have cared about if you should have been wearing those short shorts at your age, or how great your legs looked. Not the impact you had on those young lives who were listening to you and taking in what you had to say.
I love dance music. I bounce my head and tap my foot every day as I plug away at Kirvin Doak Communications. I might throw a hand up in the air when I’m working at XS from time to time. Sometimes you just can’t help it – the beat takes over. And I love what the scene stands for – PLUR – Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. Something we could all use more of in our day to day lives. So for this cause, I will fight for it every day. And right now, Madonna, that means I have to leave you. I won’t buy the album. I won’t download a song. I have unfollowed you on Twitter.
We all make mistakes. But unfortunately this is one that will take time for me to get over, if I ever will. You’ll probably never read this, and you probably could give a damn, but I feel better for at least getting it out there. And doing my small part to fight on for the music I love and believe in.
Until we meet again –