Although it was rumored and teased for weeks earlier it was officially confirmed, it’s really not a astonishment to spot Madonna collaborating pinch Sam Smith: “Unholy,” nan British singer’s deed pinch Kim Petras, was not only nan astir provocative opus to scope No. 1 connected nan Billboard Hot 100 since Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” it was precisely nan benignant of opus that Madonna has released much than erstwhile successful her career: intentionally arguable and boundary-pushing, some musically and thematically (“Unholy” is fundamentally astir a family man having unsafe sex).
Thus, she was a cleanable personification to present Smith and Petras earlier they performed nan opus astatine nan Grammys: “Are you fresh for immoderate controversy?” she began, earlier continuing, “If they telephone you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative aliases dangerous, you are decidedly onto something.”
The pursuing day, nan brace recorded “Vulgar” pinch overmuch of nan aforesaid squad that made “Unholy”: producers by Ilya, Cirkut, Omer Fedi, Ryan Tedder, Jimmy Napes, Smith and Lauren D’elia, Madonna’s vocal shaper and engineer.
While nan opus fundamentally continues nan taxable of her reside — 1 of Smith’s lyrics says, “You cognize you’re beautiful erstwhile they telephone you vulgar” — and has a Middle Eastern melody reminiscent of “Unholy,” different it’s caller terrain for both: They’re rapping nan verses complete a lurching rhythm, and Madonna’s self-referential lines are hilarious:
“Boy get down connected your knees because I americium Madonna
If you fuck pinch Sam tonight, you’re fucking pinch me
So watch what you opportunity aliases I’ll divided your banana.”
The song, which has whiffs of some Beyonce’s “Cozy” and, connected Madonna’s verses, M.I.A., is Smith’s first since nan merchandise earlier this twelvemonth of “Gloria,” their 3rd album, which breaks nan smooth-R&B mold of erstwhile releases for thing much adventurous and, for many, much satisfying. The North American limb of “Gloria nan Tour” originates adjacent month.
Last August, Madonna released a sprawling 50-track retrospective group titled “Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones” successful beforehand of her global, hits-themed “Celebration” world tour, which launches successful Vancouver adjacent month. “Vulgar” is 1 of respective impermanent appearances she’s made successful caller weeks, including tracks pinch nan Weeknd and Christine and nan Queens.