Late last night, the awesome folks over at Nowness posted this NSFW-ish video in celebration of Madonna’s birthday, a brief yet impactful clip in which punk, rapper, and ambiguously-gendered performance powerhouse Mykki Blanco pays homage to the OG Queen of Pop, co-opting her sex-drunk Marilynesque look circa “Justify My Love.” We’re sure there are going to be all kinds of tributes to the reigning Queen of Pop today (including listicles galore), but it’s probably safe to say that this one, and its accompanying mini-interview with Blanco, will remain the most heartfelt. And cheeky.
In many ways, Blanco (née Michael Quattlebaum, Jr.) aka Cosmic Angel aka Miss Snow White, who moves between identities in a way that transcends the clichés of rap, transformative performance, and binary gender, is the perfect embodiment of the raw, unashamed New York toughness that took Madonna from starving artist to the international pop superstar she is today. When her Sex book came out, Madonna was in the process of exploring an alternate character of her own whom she dubbed Dita (name-dropped in the lyrics to “Erotica“), inspired by now-mainstream burlesque performer Dita Von Teese who was far lesser known at the time.
We hope Madge herself sees the video, which is only as NSFW as Imogen Cunningham’s “Triangles” (but probz shouldn’t be watched in a conservative office environment despite its taste level). It’s easily the most, and possibly only, original Madonna-moment rehash we’ve ever seen. Just try not to smile at the end.