When Madonna took to the stage Saturday night to introduce Avicii at Miami's Ultra Music Festival, she asked, "How many people in this crowd have seen molly?"
Molly is a slang term for MDMA, the active chemical in ecstasy, a drug often associated with electronic dance music (EDM) concerts. The crowd erupted in cheers after Madge asked the question (see video of Madonna on stage at the bottom of this article), but not everyone in the EDM community was happy.
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Deadmau5, one of the leading producers of progressive house music, took to Twitter and Facebook to rail against the pop star for what he called grossly irresponsible behavior.
"Very classy there madonna. "HUR DUR HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY???" such a great message for the young music lovers at ultra," he posted on Facebook early Monday morning. "quite the f'n philanthropist. but hey, at least yer HIP AND TRENDY! fucking cant smack my head hard enough right now."
Madonna, whose album MDNA was released today, has yet to respond to the Canadian producer.
To Deadmau5 (whose real name is Joel Zimmerman), Madonna was trading on a negative association to appear relevant. By casually referencing MDMA usage at an event attended by 150,000 concertgoers and streamed online to tens of thousands more, the pop star helped cement an association that Zimmerman and other performers have fought to disprove.
Some fans, however, didn't take Zimmerman's side. When one Twitter user suggested that Deadmau5's music is enjoyed by ecstasy users, the artist quickly said he doesn't condone that behavior:
@djdaze i'd give up my entire career to remove the fucking rampant stupidity thats plagued my favorite type of music in an INSTANT.
— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) March 26, 2012
"I can appriciate her meteoric career, and all good deeds done, but WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?" he added on Facebook. "That's your big contribution to EDM? Thats your big message to ultra attendies? hipsterspeak for looking for drugs? fuck off you fucking IDIOT."
In a follow-up blog post, Zimmerman clarified his remarks and insisted that the discussion was about responsibility. Responding to criticism that he was a hypocrite for having smoked cigarrettes while live-streaming from his studio, Zimmerman said never tries to make his "vices" look cool or appealing, especially to his younger fans.
He also expressed concern about what comments like Madonna do to the EDM community:
It really hurts me to see rampant ADVOCATION of extreme bullshit lifestyles to a genre that spans pretty much any age gap these days ...
I just feel like ive been kicked in the balls for a dollar. I’ve always been into electronic music, as far back as i can remember… and around the beginning, i really do remember the times the events i loved were pretty much outlawed by my city simply due to its speculated over-excessive drug use, and the media coverage that everyone loves to lap up around it. Yeah, that bummed me out… kinda made me feel like… how could something so damn interesting, artful, fun and just plain cool, be frowned upon by most….
but look at us now, allthough not completely, and never like to be completely, the dark veil has been lifted slightly and the music and good times and technology is starting to shine through more and more than “the latest breaking news about such and such a drug found only at these underground TECHNO RAVES - Tonight on fox!”
Zimmerman recently collaborated with Chris James, a fan who submitted vocals for Zimmerman's new song, "The Veldt," on Twitter. Since Zimmerman has taken to live-streaming any work he does in his new home studio, the entire process was captured on camera. After being inspired by James' lyrics, Zimmerman took to his blog to explain why he shuns collaborations with big name artists in favor of more organic projects like "The Veldt."
Avicii, the DJ and producer Madonna was introducing, just announced his first batch of summer tour dates. The young artist is embarking on his first all-arena tour. He will also be playing at Coachella.
Madonna at Ultra:
What People Are Saying About MDNA: