Imagine Madonna’s Bitch I’m Madonna video without any of the hype or the promise of celebrity cameos and without Taylor Swift’s blockbuster video “Bad Blood” preceding it. Is it starting to look like a much better video to you now? Without all of the above I might be sitting here typing this post and raving about how much I love Madonna’s latest video. “Omg I was not expecting Beyonce to be in it!”, “Did you see Miley Cyrus’ appearance?!”, “Madonna’s still got it!” These are things I could have been discussing with my friends. Instead what I had to do was express my disappointment at the video that could have been. This wasn’t an event music video like “Bad Blood” was, this was (as much as I hate to say it) a B-grade sequel.
When Taylor Swift started releasing the movie posters for her “Bad Blood” spectacular I was excited but scared. I was asking myself how Taylor was going to be able to live up to the anticipation she was creating. The answer? By making all of the guest stars (or at least the majority of them) integral to the plot. They weren’t solely chucked in there to get the video more views and this gave the use of these celebrities more authenticity. It paid off for Taylor who created what would be an incredible trailer for an actual movie. There was a clear purpose and a determinedness to create something epic with the help of some of Taylor’s friends.
Where did Madonna go wrong? Well, in pretty much every single way that Taylor went right. The cameos in “Bitch I’m Madonna” served absolutely no purpose. These people weren’t at the actual video shoot, their scenes were shoddily edited in later in what could not have served any other purpose but to get the video views. They weren’t integral to the plot, there wasn’t even a plot for them to be integral to. If Madonna had released the video with just the people that were actually able to make it to the shoot, without getting people’s hopes up that they might be there for more than three seconds, then it may have actually been exciting rather than a let down. Personally the person who excited me most was Chris Rock simply because it was actually a surprise to see him there.
Jason Lipshutz from Billboard claims that this is the video Madonna needed to make, that pulling all these A-list stars into her video was some kind of display of her prominence and power in the pop music world. While this is true in ways, it honestly ends up coming off as a pathetic abuse of her power; we see Madonna desperately cramming the youth of the industry into her video to garner more interest for it in a time where interest in her is experiencing a deep decline.
Where Taylor Swift’s video was a well-executed display of girl power and camaraderie at a time when Taylor Swift’s star power eclipses absolutely everybody else’s, Madonna’s was a poorly executed display of attention seeking, with her desperately clinging to those who currently hold the star power she used to have.