You don’t get to become the world’s most dominating female pop star without ruffling a few feathers along the way. So it is with Madonna, whose stay at the top continues with her latest curdle party enducing album MDNA – a release which comes off the back of squabbles with M.I.A. and Deadmau5 (they’ve since made up). But what exactly does it take to stage a proper beef with Madge? Here’s a handy breakdown of the vital components that make for a great public feud, should you find yourself in that position some day.
1. The Aching Need to Be Hip
With a mighty career that spans three decades, Madonna’s always managed to ride the hipster curve to stay relevant. Sometimes though the kids don’t appreciate Aunty Madge co-opting into their scene, as with dance producer Deadmau5’s recent Twitter rant at her for invoking the name of the ecstasy spin-off drug Molly at Miami’s Ultra festival: “That’s your big contribution to EDM? Thats your big message to ultra attendies? hipsterspeak for looking for drugs? fuck off you fucking IDIOT.” A Madonna remix surely beckons.
2. The Copycat Factor
If you were being unkind, you could suggest Lady Gaga’s career is little more than a very successful take on playing Let’s Pretend at being Madonna. Gaga’s faithful following of the path Mads has blazed – Catholicism, silly cone brasiers and all — is something the pop highness finally took umbrage at when she called out Gaga’s “Born This Way” as little more than an update of her own “Express Yourself” in an interview with Newsweek (via The Daily Beast). Cue cat sound!
3. Been There, Done That
Showing some sort of solidarity to her fellow sassy sisters in a male dominated pop industry, Madonna invited Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. to perform at this year’s Superbowl show. Alas! M.I.A. did what she’s always done and pulled out a cheap stunt to grab the headlines herself, this time sticking up a middle finger to the camera. Mads wasn’t best pleased with the ruse, as she told Ryan Seacrest, “I wasn’t happy about it. I understand it’s kind of punk rock and everything but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy and positivity, it seemed negative.” Many years practicing Pilates will do that to your energy flow.
4. Naming Rights
Madonna might be quick to politely point out those other artists she thinks may have been a little too closely inspired by her, but her rap sheet isn’t so squeaky clean when it comes to the influence stakes. After signing to Interscope records, she irked the label’s one-time cash cow, 50 Cent, by recording a song titled “Girls Gone Wild” – which Fif’ also so happened to be working on. “This is some bull sh*t,” the chipmink-faced rapper tweeted, quite quaintly censoring his language in case Lourdes was following him.
5. Industry Jealousy
Despite having sold about a gajillion records, Madonna still craves the approval of her peers – as shown by her run in with Elton John (and David Furnish) over a case of bragging writes at the Golden Globes that involved a movie Gnomeo & Juliet. After John said that Madonna had “no fuckin’ chance of winning” with her contribution to the W.E. soundtrack, “Masterpiece,” she replied, “Was he wearing a dress?” The barb worked, as she ran off with another shiny trophy come the end of the night.