Madonna and Maluma's 'Medellín' Cannot Be Unseen

Y/NY/N is a guide to the week’s music releases based on our highly scientific, non-subjective Yes/No rating system.

N: Madonna and Maluma, “Medellín” (video) – Aside from this song’s already offensive and not well (if at all) thought-out lyrics (“We built a cartel just for love,” etc.), these two and the team behind them both decided to dig deeper into the feces they laid out last week with these over-the-top, meaningless visuals. The video includes a disturbing, albeit brief, scene of Madonna licking Maluma’s big toe. It sadly can’t be unseen. To be fair, she starts off the video with a monologue/prayer that includes, “I will never be what society expects me to be.” Luckily for my blood pressure, I expected this shit. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo


Y: TWICE, “Fancy” - I can’t tell if the latest single from TWICE reminds me of late-’90s video game music, or the sort of ’00s Euro-pop that doesn’t play in clubs as much as it does in the queue for indoor rollercoasters at theme parks, but perhaps its both—“Fancy” certainly evokes the same sort of joy, and there’s a drop. A colleague likened the bass to ATC’s 2001 hit “All Around The World (La La La La La),” so I think we’re onto something... —Maria Sherman

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N: Why Don’t We, “Don’t Change” - As a boy band fan first, blogger second, I will give any new group endless amount of chances to covert me. Why Don’t We has yet to deliver, and the PG self-esteem anthem “Don’t Change” for the forthcoming Ugly Dolls movie is no exception. What is this Maroon 5/Ed Sheeran/Nick Jonas solo shit? What does this group want to be? Do they even know? Why don’t we... change the song. —MS


Yes... to the video: Louis Tomlinson, “Two of Us” (video) - And now, for a former boy band artist who has actually delivered. One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has had a go of it recently: he lost his teenaged sister mere weeks ago, and his mother just over two years ago—the latter is the inspiration behind his latest single, “Two of Us.” It’s a mournful track, but also undeniably schmaltzy, which is why I’m particularly delighted that the video is so good. In it, Louis fulfills the bucket list of an 83-year-old man, and I am definitely crying. It’s one way to turn tragedy into something sweet and life-affirming without manipulating an audience, and for that, I’m grateful. —MS

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Yes: Gauche, “Running” - Gauche, the Washington, D.C.-based no wave post-punk band built of members of Priests and Downtown Boys, have announced their debut LP, A People’s History Of Gauche, out in July. They’ve released a few tracks from the upcoming album, but there’s a special place in my heart for “Running”—who couldn’t love that atonal, Contortions-esque sax? Or any song that inspires a shout-along of “I’m tired!”? —MS

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Yes: Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Farruko, Anuel AA, “Baila Baila Baila (Remix)” – This is one of those rare instances in which I almost like a remix more than the original, which I already loved. Ozuna took his club favorite and added a king of reggaeton, his deputy and a two rising traperos to whip up a remix worthy of closing out the Latin Billboard Awards. I’ll be playing this from now till vacation and probably the rest of the summer. The transitions by the producer are smooth, the lyrics of the add-ons are not half-assed for the most part, and somehow it’s all under five minutes. Also worth noting is the fact that AA is the last to drop his verse, which means I can easily skip and repeat all the others. Well done. —ELC

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Yes: Cuco, “Hydrocodone” – A very much alive and seemingly better than ever Cuco pays tribute to his roots with this beautiful video shot in Mexico City in which he takes on a more somber tone. The lyrics, reportedly written while he was on bedrest after a near-death accident, are simple yet vulnerable, and the visuals quite literally gave me chills. In small but intentional choices like the inclusion of a portrait of AOC, his manager Doris Muñoz, and the end shot of a cassette that translates to “music to dream and rest,” I suspect Cuco is trying to tell us a story of survival, the people and places he admires, and the kind of music he aims to make. —ELC

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Yes: Japanese Breakfast, “Essentially” – Michelle Zauner is as exacting and lovelorn as ever (and vaguely sadistic, in a good way) on her band Japanese Breakfast’s first single since 2017. The orbiting synths and plunging bass line will sound like old friends to anyone who liked Soft Sounds From Another Planet, but when they’re coupled together with what sounds like a drum machine, these devastating three minutes also sound almost upbeat and downright dance-able. I’m obsessed. —Frida Garza

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