Pop

Is “Justify My Love” Still Provocative 25 Years Later? 5 Millennials Watch For The First Time + Weigh In

These "Justify My Love" virgins have some thoughts—and they may surprise you.

“You put this in me, so now what?” Madonna purrs on “Justify My Love” as a slinky trip-hop beat oozes in the background. It is just one of many controversial lines Madge coos on the track, arguably her most overtly sexual to date. Now lauded as one of the best songs of her career, “Justify My Love” received its fair share of backlash when it debuted Nov. 6, 1990. (That means, yes, it turns 25 today.)

It was the track’s video, though, that really ignited a cultural firestorm. In the five-minute clip, Madonna—channeling a serious Marilyn Monroe aesthetic—arrives tired and disheveled at a hotel. She then finds herself indulging in some sexual healing with various suitors while other hot people get their freak on, too. Girl-on-girl! Sadomasochism! Voyeurism! The clip is a smorgasbord of X-rated tête-à-têtes, all shown explicitly in black and white.

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