At 60, Madonna is still making albums, and staying relevant. The pop icon is also apparently inspired by current events.
Her new album, Madame X (out on June 14), features a track called I Rise.
In the beginning of the R&B meets pop track, Madonna samples Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez’s emotional gun control speech the traumatised teen gave at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, days after the Valentine’s Day massacre that left 14 students and three staff members dead and another 17 injured.
The South Florida student turned activist spoke powerfully through tears, and now her words are immortalised in this song.
“Us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works!” a tearful Gonzalez shouts in the song’s opener. “We call B.S.!’’
Madonna’s lyrics echo the theme of overcoming all obstacles: “There’s nothin’ you can do to me that hasn’t been done. Not bulletproof, shouldn’t have to run from a gun.”
“I wrote I Rise as a way of giving a voice to all marginalised people who feel they don’t have the opportunity to speak their mind,” Madonna said in a statement. “This year is the 50th anniversary of Pride and I hope this song encourages all individuals to be who they are, to speak their minds and to love themselves.”
Gonzalez’s chant, “We call B.S.!,” appears chillingly throughout the inspirational anthem while Madonna sings, “I rise … Up above it, up above it all. We’re gonna rise up, we’re gonna get up. Yes we can. We can get it together.”
The low-key ballad follows the album’s first single, Medellin, and in the coming weeks she will release Crave (featuring Swae Lee) on May 10, Future (featuring Quavo) on May 17, and Dark Ballet on June 7. — Miami Herald/Tribune News Service