Medellin, Colombia is a rosy city with mountains watching in the distance and vast rolling hills of green stretching as far as the eyes can see. On the streets, you'll find carts of fresh fruit and smiling patrons and beautiful graffiti bursting with all manners of neon colors. It's a conflicting paradise that brings the new and old together; five-star hotels like the Diez Hotel Categoría has a beautiful view of the city's anthills of yellow lights that crop up at nighttime, illuminating the greyer, older architecture interspersed throughout the narrow roads. It's a beautiful place, a South American oasis, and a place visited in the dreams of Madonna in "Medellín, her new collaboration with reggaeton singer Maluma.
Madonna — or Madame X in the context of her new album, where she's a secret agent of many identities — is sedated, somewhere between waking and sleeping. In her haze, she journeys within her mind to when she was a teenager in Medellín. A smile on her face, she relaxes into the cloth and plastic of a beach chair. "The sun was caressing my skin/Another me could now begin," she sings softly.
The production eases in like a gentle tide and never threatens to overwhelm. It's distinctly of reggaeton origin, with the snap and bounce of a hip-gyrating anthem, only calmer, older, and a little laxer. The track's energy comes from Maluma, whose lively verse brings the sun's sharpest rays of the afternoon. But similarly, he keeps it slower and sexier, matching his output to Madonna's. They're just basking in the smell of fresh water and the warm embrace of sun-warmed sand. This is paradise.
"Medellín" is the lead single from Madame X. In addition to releasing this new record, she's also revealed a tracklist of 13 songs. In addition to Maluma (who's also featured on "Bitch I'm Loca"), Quavo, Swae Lee, and Anitta also appear. Madonna released the 007-esque trailer for Madame X earlier this week. Her first album in four years makes its way to streaming services and stores on June 14.
Check out the beachy "Medellín" up above.