[OP-ED] Examining The Five Most Shocking Lyrics From Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’


Madonna’s thirteenth album ‘Rebel Heart’ has been met with a plethora of issues since its announcement in mid-2012. There’s been demo leaks, lawsuits, performance malfunctions, questionable Instagram campaigning – all of which focused on the controversy and not the music. In actuality, ‘Rebel Heart’ is a creative EDM-lite masterpiece that doesn’t really sound like anything Madonna’s ever done before. It’s definitely risqué, but at least Madge tried different sounds. But when it comes to lyrics, it’s sexual “business as usual” taken to an extreme. Below are TUA’s top five most shocking lyrics from Madge’s latest album:

5. “And we can do drugs, and we can smoke weed, and we can drink whiskey
Yeah, we can get high, and we can get stoned
And we can sniff glue, and we can do E, and we can drop acid
Forever be lost with no way home”
(“Devil Pray” – 0:40 to 0:57)

Normally, discussions like these would be at the top of a list dedicated to controversy, especially since the song is titled “Devil Pray”. But since Madge is well-known for going against the grain when it comes to religious beliefs, her #narcoticshoutout here isn’t surprising. In fact, the roll call of vices ranging from marijuana and alcohol to ecstasy and acid comes off moreso as pleasing a younger audience than addressing her own experiences.

4. “Each time they write a hateful word
Dragging my soul into the dirt
I wanna die, never admit it, but it hurts”
(“Joan Of Arc” – 0:24 to 0:38)

Standing as the only lyric in the countdown that doesn’t relate to sexual or bodily functions, this is surprising because it tells a less “rebellious” story than most of Madge’s lyrics. Madonna’s been at the forefront of multiple sources of media lashing, but I’d be foolish to not speculate these lyrics are about her age criticism. The idea of ageism, which she compares to racism and homophobia, could surely lead to her own personal struggles with fame.

3. “When you read my mind, get down and discover me
I’m an open door, I’ll let you come inside of me”
(“S.E.X.” – 0:39 to 0:45)

This line from the Toby Gad-produced “S.E.X.” is one of those times where trying to be cool can backfire in a really bad way. From the outside looking in, it sounds like Madge is speaking about unsafe sex. “I’m an open door” reads as if she doesn’t have any rules when it comes to sex. This could be a good thing, but when you get to “I’ll let you come inside of me”, a different (and potentially bad) scenario is presented. Not shocking from someone whose name is listed as part of a #whorecomplex.

2. “Tell me I’m no good and I’ll be great
Say I have to fart and it can’t wait”
(“Iconic” – 1:42 to 1:49)

There’s been quite the debate surrounding whether Madonna is saying “fart” or “fight” here, but it sounds like “fart” to most people. The Genius annotation alludes to an interpretation of an infamous Muhammad Ali quote, but Madge’s first line about flatulence actually fits in quite well with being…iconic. It also doesn’t help her case that this isn’t the first time she’s obsessed about flatulence, as evidenced from a somewhat overwhelming “Madonna fart” Google search.

1. “Don’t it taste like holy water
Yeezus loves my pussy best”
(“Holy Water” – 2:08 to 2:16)

The first time I heard this lyric, I had to rewind it so many times because I needed to ensure that I heard Madge right. “Yeezus loves my pussy best” goes directly against Kimye’s marriage vows. Although I highly doubt Kanye was cheating on Kim with Madge, it’s a shocking revelation for her to make on the most popular song on ‘Rebel Heart’. I’m certain #shockvalue was her intent, but alluding to Kanye’s infidelity may have crossed the line.

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