Madonna, the woman who was once known as a music superstar but now endures as humanity's last, best hope in the fight against capes, has named a successor.
“Kanye is the new Madonna," Madge tells the Daily News. “Kanye is the black Madonna."
Why? Because the controversial stars are "comrades in the envelope-pushing genre," she says.
Even taken totally devoid of context, this comment doesn't sit well. It seems flippant to treat race as a simple, uncharged descriptor, like, "Everyone knows that Sue is the tall Madonna," or "Alan, you're totally the bald Madonna."
But, as bell hooks has written, Madonna has been an eager appropriator of black and particularly black male culture for decades. She's also made openly racist comments, as in the 1996 SPIN interview where she notoriously said that she'd never been treated as "disrespectfully" as she had by the African-American men she's dated, opining that their "rage" was a direct result of their race and culture.
We've reached a very "die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain" place with Madonna's career. Relevance is inching further away from her each and every day. On the contrary, West, who helped produce her new album, Rebel Heart, is arguably the most famous person on the planet. If he's not, then he's married to her.
Don't forget that, in January, Madonna shared images of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. with their faces caged in wire, edited to resemble the the distinctive cover art for Rebel Heart — the cringeworthy implication being that she considered herself their "freedom-fighting" equal.
Now that Madonna's desperate for publicity, she's more than happy to cling to influential black men as a pop cultural life raft — which is precisely what she's doing here.
(That said, if Yeezy felt the need to cover "Like a Virgin," I'd download the hell out of that track.)
[h/t E! Online]
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.