Save the World Madonna Style… Have Sex

I’ve noticed two trends out of numerous musical artists and celebrities lately.

  1. Become more sexualized
  2. Care about the world

Why not do both? That’s what Madonna is proposing (along with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) in her new song “4 Minutes.” Check it out.

The video speaks for itself, and the words of this catchy song convey a message that Madonna has been preaching for years. “If you feel it, It must be real.” Isn’t that good advice? Get in the back seat with your boyfriend/girlfriend and go with “what feels right” at the moment.

Here’s an excerpt from a Madonna lyric site:

Madonna and Justin:
If you want it, You already got it
If you’ve thought it, It better be what you want
If you feel it, It must be real just…
Say the word, and I will give you what you want

Madonna: Time is waiting
Justin: We only got 4 minutes to save the world
Madonna: No hesitating
Madonna: Grab a boy
Justin: Grab a girl
Madonna: Time is waiting
Justin: We only got 4 minutes to save the world

So, are our kids actually listening to this? The answer is a recordbreaking “yes.”

“4 Minutes” sits in the #1 spot on iTunes right now in “Top Songs” AND “Top Videos” AND “Top Ringtones.” This song helped Madonna surpass Elvis Presley from his standing as the artist with the most top 10s (This is Madonna’s 37th top 10). Billboard reports that “4 Minutes” jumped from 63 to #3 last week on their Hot 100 chart. That was spurred by over 200,000 downloads the first week of it’s release along with Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” (surprise surprise).

MTV.com has the highly sexualized video readily available on the front page. iTunes has the song and video, along with a pre-order for her new album Hard Candy (already ranked #9 in downloads right now, and it’s not even available yet… what’s that tell you?). YouTube has it. Verizon had it as a “Verizon Exclusive” digital download… and yes… if you haven’t figured it out by now, most kids now have it in their phones and iPods.

Hmmmmmm.

Food for thought as we talk about abstinence and the “1 and 4 girls have an STD” statistic next week.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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11 Responses to Save the World Madonna Style… Have Sex

  1. dan says:

    At least the song does say
    Madonna:
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Yeah

    Justin:
    But if I die tonight at least I can say I did what I wanted to do, Tell me how ’bout you?

    At least they understand how to get to hell – do what you want rather than what God wants. . .

    I totally agree with your assessment (not too mention the “nude” colored suit she wears in the video). I thought on those style shows they tell mothers who dress trashy to dress their age. . .

  2. Dan… excellent observation.

    That sounds like great discussion material to talk with kids about this song.

    “What did Madonna get right about this song?”

    “How do you know that?”

    “What did Madonna get wrong with this song?”

    “How do you know that?”

    Thanks Dan… good stuff.

  3. bil says:

    i just watched it, listening thru the lyric, it’s not like blatantly, in ur face, have sex lyric, but it’s more subtle. first there is the saving the world thing within 4 min. and when u hear it (about do it, stuff like that), one can think that the song is about saving the world. so if you hear this on the radio, i think you kinda have to be critical and ask a lot of questions.
    as for the video. ya it’s sexualized, and i guess it’s a sad things.
    if your showing this to the youth group, maybe you can do some comparison between the song and the video. ask their opinion before watching the vid and after. there could be some discussions.

  4. Bil… yes… it’s more subtle, and that’s one of the problems I have with it. It’s typical of many of today’s lyrics to be suggestive and not have to say “LET’S HAVE SEX!”

    But subtle or not, you can’t miss the philophy being preached:

    If you feel it, It must be real just…
    Say the word, and I will give you what you want

    Hmmmmmmmmm.

  5. Chuck Eads says:

    Typical guerilla marketing…Fantastic beat w/ huge names=lots and lots of publicity. Madonna has been a master of this kind of thing for years. In my estimation, she has been one of the most driving forces in music and pushing the moral envelope for the past 20 years. Unfortunately, she’s pushing again using current music stars to get her message through to youth. It’s mind-numbing to see how sexualized the youth of today are. A friend of one of our freshmen just found out that she’s pregnant with her ex-boyfriend who was on the friend-with-benefit plan child. Heck, go to a school dance and see what goes on and that’s 6th grade on up! I don’t mean to vent but where will morals be in 10 years?

  6. Sam Totman says:

    I think Madonna starting to look her age. I agree with the remarks above. I’m not sure I would show the video. If our efforts are to help students have a holy thought life as well as their media consumption, we need to be extra critical about how we teach. I’m not condemning anyone who uses the method, mind you. I use movies all the time. Music not so much. I would really like to see someone publish some research as to whether or not our new methods of instruction are working or actually being counterproductive.

  7. Sam… sorry I wasn’t clear about that. I agree. I would never show kids that video. Granted, many of them have already seen it, but I don’t want to be the one to show it to them.

    You’ll notice on our web site’s MUSIC DISCUSSION PAGE that we sometimes just have lyrics, other times we refer to the video. But I don’t show the video if it’s sexualized like this one. I would just hand out the lyrics and use that as a discussion starter.

    Good note.

  8. todd says:

    The song in itself does not promote sex. Without the erotic video many kids may not associate it with having sex because the world is about to end. However once they see the video…. We live in a very visual now nothing can hidden like is was when we were kids. We came up with our own meanings for the songs, but today the inspiration and meaning are thrust at the kids with the intent to make them think a certain way. On our TV the video stations are all locked off so the kids can’t get to them.

    The real problem is our generation was taught this as we grew up. so now that we have matured through this me and do it cause you can or cause it feels good ideology. We are raising our kids the same way. They will in turn raise the nest generation the will be worse off yet.

    The change needs to start in the home with the parents.

  9. Deb says:

    I agree with Sam. I don’t buy into the philosophy that we have to watch MTV, etc. just so we can minister to the youth. It’s a very fine line between knowing what our kids are dealing with and allowing alot of media garbage into our minds. Phil. 4:8 is a great scripture to live by – especially when we are working with young people.

  10. Deb… you should listen to our new episode of THE SOURCE podcast that just came out today, Episode #14. We talk about that very subject: being aware of the youth culture around us (Acts 17), but not emmersing ourselves in it.

  11. Nuhu Yakubu Chayi says:

    This is nice to know, like people response to the video and will agree that is better to discuss th lyrics of the song than showing the video.