Truly, hell hath no fury like a Mother Monster scorned. Yesterday (August 11), it emerged that some pesky scoundrels had leaked ‘Applause’, the first single from Lady Gaga’s forthcoming new album/app/lord-only-knows-what ‘ARTPOP’. And the singer wasn’t best pleased. Reaching out to fellow leak victim Katy Perry, she Tweeted: “Wanna grab some shovels and fuck up some hackers?” @katyperry excited to hear you ROAR, sorry to hear about your truck!”
There were more angry missives, too. Teeth-nashing fury (“YOU JUST COULDN’T WAIT THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR ONE SATURDAY”); crises in faith (“Lord, in HEAVEN WHY”); slightly dubious comparisons to Tinkerbell (“I live for the applause!”) But while it’s easy to scoff at her self-righteous tizzy, it must be galling when you’ve slaved on a record for yonks and someone posts it online before you’re good and ready (and, given just how integral Gaga’s aesthetic and presentation is to her music, it seems doubly cruel to just plonk a rip of the track online and rob her of the chance to present it with all the trademark bonkers theatrics, too).
So, Lady Gaga, fear not. Not everyone can be MIA, willing to put out their wares online as part of some record label-related tug o’ war. And you are not alone, for other artists have not been best pleased when they’ve suffered from badly-timed leakage, either. Here’s a look at five of the best of them….
It’s 2011. Madonna is making her grand return, and whispers abound that her new single, ‘Give Me All Your Lovin’’, will feature MIA and Nicki Minaj. People are bloody excited. And then an early demo version of the track hit the net, and it was… shit: sans Minaj and MIA, it featured only Madonna herself, bleating her way through a disappointingly naff chorus. But while most people were just a tad underwhelmed, the singer herself was supposedly livid. “Madonna told me this morning: My true fans wouldn’t do this,” wrote her manager Guy Oseary wrote – rather diplomatically - on Twitter on behalf of the singer. “Whoever is responsible for this leak, please stop.” The supposed culprit, a Spanish Madonna obsessive from Zaragoza, was eventually arrested and charged for the crime.
Quite a few folk have fallen foul of Jack White’s temper in the past, but Chicago Q101’s DJ Electra got an extra-special tongue-lashing from The White Stripes man when she played their album ‘Icky Thump’ on air ahead of its official release in 2007. Recalling that he had rang her up to “yell at me” and that she felt like she was “going to throw up”, she added: “Jack asked me to take responsibility for leaking the record, and asked if I was sorry for what I'd done… We tried to explain where we were coming from - someone gave us a copy of a record that we were really excited to play, and the whole experience was an hour-long love-fest for him and his band - but he wasn't having it. He hung up, very, very angry, and I thought I was going to cry.” Let us hope their kids never end up in the same school…
Marina And The Diamonds
Ooh-er! Marina’s going to get the rozzers on you! Or so she claimed when a batch of songs she’d been working on were pinched and stuck online. Describing the hackers as “grim” and “unworthy”, she sniffed in a blog: “I have the police involved. So if you know information about the people who are doing this, you can message me… I am asking for you to protect me. I rely on you guys heavily – and transparently – and I need your help. You’re the only ones who control whether things stop or spread.” She also claimed that people purloining her songs was stopping her from finishing the new material, too, adding: “The more leaks that happen, the slower I go. As you can imagine, the thought of people invading my privacy and listening to half-assed unfinished songs that I write at 3am on a tour bus does not make me feel too relaxed or creative." Theories that the thieves were desperately trying to stop ‘Electra Heart’ from seeing the light of day have never been confirmed…
Aha! Lady Gaga, then, is no stranger to the leak-induced anger, and her misery over ‘Applause’ being let out of its cage too early isn’t her first hacker-related rant. Her 2011 single ‘Judas’ had to be rush-released after it was put out online ahead of schedule, leading to Gaga stating: “’Judas’ is leaking, it’s like a slow death. They [the leaks] were tearing at the song, first it was the arm and then it was the liver.” Thank heavens she’s not prone to melodrama, eh?
No-one really expected hip hop’s biggest ego to take it on the chin when the video for ‘Black Skinhead’ started popping up online before its grand unveiling, did they? “Me and Nick Knight have been working on this video for 5 months and for creatives it’s heartbreaking when something like this happens,” he fumed on Twitter. “The final version will be ready within the next week. So any website that may have the unapproved/unfinished ruff. I ask you to please take it down. Allow me and Nick to give the world what we’ve been losing sleep over.” Best of all, though, was his parting shot. “And to who ever leaked the video… FUK YOU!” Oh Kanye, don’t’ ever change.