If you're a pop singer today, one must not be content to simply appear in one's own videos. Now a video needs a certain magnitude of star power that illuminates the depths of one's Rolodex.
Madonna's new clip for her assertive single "Bitch I'm Madonna" calls in all her favors for a candy-hued romp. The list is as formidible as it is varied — Kanye West, Chris Rock, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, fashion designer Alexander Wang and Madonna's two kids all pop up. Nicki Minaj shows up for her guest verse, as does the single's producer, Diplo (alas, however, there's no cameo from his great co-producer SOPHIE as far as we can tell).
Director Jonas Ackerlund deserved credit not just for its fizzy high spirits, but for his human resources skills as well.
The song was a standout on her LP "Rebel Heart," which was a generally well-received mix of modern experimental pop aimed at restating her relevance for contemporary audiences. The Times' Randall Roberts said "'Rebel Heart' stands sturdily because those foundations have been fortified by producers and as such are thick and modern, with heavy bass, lots of tweaky snare and high-hats and a midrange action that snakes through songs like locomotives winding through mountainous tracks."
The record had a white-knuckle few weeks after early versions of its tracks were leaked, an experience Madonna described to The Times as still being "Very fresh on my mind, and I'm still very upset about it. ... I think their brains have been contaminated by what they've heard. And because I was continuously being hacked into – with all the different versions from all the different producers I was working with in all the different recording studios — it started making me second-guess everything. I had extreme anxiety."
If nothing else, this video proves that Modonna's famous fans and friends are still more than willing to show up for the party.