Madonna is used to getting exactly what she wants, when she wants it. Which is why her subtle video for “Crave,” which debuted Wednesday (May 22), is so fascinating. In it, we catch a glimpse of her alter ego, Madame X, writing out a love note in long hand on a scroll, as she says in voice-over, “I am waiting for you. I have always been waiting for you. I’m attracted to danger, I crave it.” Meanwhile, majestic black and white images of New York scroll by amid flashes of slow-motion dancing by the song’s feature artist, Rae Sremmurd‘s Swae Lee.
In a nod to Brooklyn’s beloved Pigeon Keepers, we see Madame X attaching her love note to a flying rat and sending it skyward as the song’s plucked acoustic guitar and hand-clap beat kick in. The rest of the clip mostly consists of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer dancing by herself in designer duds in an empty warehouse, crawling on the floor and peering out over the city with a look of melancholy as a shirtless Lee echoes her vocals.
One last pigeon flight lands X’s message in Lee’s hands — with a glimpse of his meticulous cataloging of her missives — and the two are finally united in a final scene in which Madame X shares a divine spark from her finger in an homage to Michaelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” fresco in the Sistine Chapel. The video was helmed by Portuguese director Nuno Xico (Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake). The release of “Crave” follows on the heels of the album’s first single, “Medellin,” featuring Maluma, as well as “Future” with Quavo and “I Rise.”
Madame X is due out on June 14.
Watch the “Crave” video below.