Madonna has shared a powerful and uplifting anthem, ‘I Rise,’ from her forthcoming album, Madame X. The tune offers supporting words of wisdom for those that have dealt with more tragedy than triumph. With a sample of Emma González, a survivor of the 2018 shooting massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School, speaking about how young people aren’t widely respected in the world of politics, the track enters into inspirational territory. It comes from the heart and looks to stoke the fires of perseverance in the souls of the next generation.
The track opens with a passionate speaking clip of González. “They say us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works,” she says fiercely. “We call BS.” Madonna’s vocals come in on the delicate track that isn’t somber but isn’t the kind of tune you’ll hear spun at a party. It’s as soft as war chants come, but there’s power in this fragility – a striking, cutting one that drips from each word. “There’s nothing you can do to me that hasn’t been done/Not bulletproof, shouldn’t have to run from a gun,” she sings, drawing attention to the gun violence problem in the United States. She hunkers down on this and less graspable problems, but she gives a solution to dealing with these stresses and anxieties: to stand above it. “I rise, I rise, I rise above it,” she drills into the head in the chorus. Each utterance of “rise” compounds the energy. Rise, stand up. Rise, turn your head to the sky. Rise, clench your fists. Rise, smile in the face of despair.
Madame X hits streaming services on stores on June 14. It will be Madonna’s first album in four years, so the singer is pulling out the stops. Prior to releasing her tropical collaboration with Maluma, “Medellín,” the singer dropped a spy thriller of an album trailer that hints at the album being an expansive new stylistic world. Madame X has been revealed to have 13 songs and feature Quavo, Swae Lee, and Anitta.
Take a look at the simple, yet emotional, video (it’san audio-accompaniment, not an official visual) for “I Rise” up above.