Human Nature

Album: Bedtime Stories (1994)
Charted: 8 46
  • Madonna is no stranger to controversy, but there's only so much criticism a person can take. The media took aim at the Material Girl for expressing her sexuality in her notorious coffee table book Sex, and the unapologetically explicit Erotica album. In "Human Nature," she mocks the pearl-clutching outrage of her critics, sarcastically cooing, "Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex."

    She told the Los Angeles Times: "It's my definitive statement in regards to the incredible pay-back I've received for having the nerve to talk about the things that I did in the past few years with my Sex book and my record. It's getting it off my chest. It is defensive, absolutely. But it's also sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek. And I'm not sorry. I do not apologize for any of it."
  • Madonna highlights the double standard of scorning a woman for embracing her sexuality, whispering, "Would it sound better if I were a man?" She elaborated: "I'm being punished for being a single female, for having power and being rich and saying the things I say, being a sexual creature - actually, not being any different from anyone else, but just talking about it. If I were a man, I wouldn't have had any of these problems. Nobody talks about Prince's sex life."
  • The hip-hop infused R&B track samples elements of Main Source's "What You Need" from the 1993 album F--k What You Think.
  • The music video, directed by Jean-Baptise Mondino, is all about breaking free from restraints. Tightly wrapped in leather and latex, a whip-wielding Madonna and her dancers are trapped in identical white cubicles, an effect the Chicago Tribune dubbed "S&M Hollywood Squares."

    Mondino structured the shot to keep the focus on the dancing. "I like the steadiness of the performance because then you can really enjoy the movement of the body. You see the skill," he said. "I like to shrink - as much as I can - the stage because I can grab her. If not, everyone is running around and I'm not good with this. So I came up with the boxes [laughs] and I knew that with the boxes I had to do with something quite un-expect-able because there's not too much stage to dance in. So there's something beautiful about it and they looked like bees or something."

    When Madonna told the director she wanted a dance-oriented clip, he introduced her to the work of Eric Stanton, an illustrator known for S&M-inspired drawings. "We didn't want to go for the straight S&M," she explained. "We wanted to have it be more about making fun of it."
  • Most radio stations censored the chorus-closing punchline "I'm not your bitch, Don't hang your s--t on me."
  • This peaked at #2 on the Dance chart.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.