December 14, 2019  Last Update: November 12, 2019, 4:01 pm

Madonna MDNA Molly Reference: Gen Gap?

Madonna’s have-you-seen-Molly shout out caused a stir with the current pop-dance generation, where club drugs like ecstacy are highly sought after by a fan base that desires safe, responsible use of illegal substances like ecstacy (Molly).

Madonna is now 53 years old. Her reign as “pop queen” is a few generations behind, but she’s still trying. Her latest release is called “MDNA”- which is clearly an abbreviation for “MaDonNA“, no?

Not so fast. Some of today’s younger generation of dance music fans suspects it’s a reference to MDMA, the pure form of the active chemical in popular club drug ecstacy. And Madonna reinforced that with a call to the audience at the Ultra Music Festival “How many of you have seen Molly?”

Molly is MDMA. If you’ve “seen Molly” at a dance, you’ve taken some ecstasy or pure MDMA. Was Madonna cashing in on the discovered current connection to her MDNA album title? Was 53 year old rock-pop icon Madonna trying to be hip? Are reckless public references to public drug use still “in” or did that go out with Rock and Roll?

The Molly reference was immediately challenged by way-hipper electronic dance music party maker deadmau5, who called Madonna out on Twitter and tumblr. He called her an idiot (among other things) for openly referencing drug use in the old rock-era defiant way.

Like many in the business of youth culture TODAY, deadmau5 wants to keep the public side of dance music clean. With kids in the crowds, there’s little room for open references to illicit drug use, even if it’s popular. Unlike Madonna’s rock and roll days, when openly defying authority was a road to success, today’s youth culture sees it as a a balancing act between drug use and abuse.

In Madonna’s day, drug use was against the rules. It was wrong. And breaking the rules was cool.

Today’s dance music scene faces a much stronger enforcement arm than Madonna ever did. With just about everybody knowing someone jailed for minor personal use drug offenses, open defiance of drug laws is not smart. Dance venues get shut down and kids lose access to music, events, parties, and the very culture of the club they celebrate.

To today’s recreational drug users, drug use is not always wrong. Harm reduction and  “responsible use” is part of the culture. Even the club drug of choice — ecstacy or MDMA, is a euphoria drug not a stoner drug. It’s closer  to “peace and love” than defiance, aggression, and the taboo shock that made Madonna famous. In-your-face defiance does not promote peace and love, and it doesn’t lead to being left alone to enjoy the dance club with your dance club friends. Had Madonna been to a rave or two, she might have seen MDMA test kits and “responsible use” counselors serving lines of drug-interested fans, right out in the open. Promotions of “be safe, enjoy your choices”. It’s a different world today.

The deadmau5 vs. Madonna battle went on over social media until Madonna clarified she wasn’t and doesn’t promote drug use, and deadmau5 agreed to let it go.

The Ultra Music Festival event? It was a success. The MDNA album? Pretty much a failure. Madonna’s new release is about to set a record for the biggest second week sales drop in history. It seems Madonna’s fans bought her new album, but haven’t been recommending it to others. Apparently the music isn’t causing new fans to go buy it, and the publicity around the Molly reference didn’t gain her the right kind of attention.

The MDNA/MDMA references did lead to a little education. Celebrity rehab people issued warnings that MDMA (ecstacy) can be dangerous and addicting. Modern day youth culture icons like deadmau5 were reminded of the importance of maintaining a clean public image in order to preserve their markets, and aging pop stars were reminded that things have changed.

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  1. […] Miley trying to be like Madonna? In 2012, Madonna released an album named “MDNA”,  which sounds very much like MDMA, the popular dance club drug. At the Ultra Music Festival when […]

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