Interview With A Legend: An In-Depth Analysis of ‘Lotus’ with Legendtina
As I was walking into my building earlier this week, I noticed a small package waiting for me outside my mailbox. It reeked of swamp water, and just the faintest hint of Taco Bell.
Inside, I found an unsold copy of Bionic, a Lotus promotional lotus and a letter, written with a tube of Blu-Red lipstick and stained with pink and purple hair dye, which cryptically read: “Hello fan, I think you already know my name. Don’t need to know yours. Just need to know whose place. Say, XoXtina.”
Still unsure of what this was all about, I continued up the stairs, planning to use the Bionic album as a coaster.
As I turned the key and opened the door into my apartment, the stench of Christina Aguilera: By Night hit my nostrils at the exact moment I noticed the crowned songstress scowling right at me. Before I could even utter a word, I was already on the ground–stripped and desnudated–with a shiny red Louboutin digging into the small of my back.
“Me tienes tan mojada. LOTUS PROMO, BITCH!” she whispered into my ear, cackling.
I’m still recovering from the interview, which is why it’s taken so long to transcribe. As for my body? Well, I’d rather not talk about it right now, but one thing’s for sure: I’ll never look at a middle finger the same.
And now, an interview with Legendtina.
It’s truly an honor to see you again, Legendtina. Can I please stand up now?
Rise up, lotus. Rise. HA!
Thank you–and might I add, that diaper looks absolutely stunning on you.
Fashion is a lifestyle, fan.
So, the new album: Lotus. That’s what we’re gathered to talk about, right?
Okay. Well, what does Lotus mean to you?
Thank you for asking, Brandon.
Oh. It’s Bradley, actually.
Let me just make this clear now: Interrupt me again, and I’ll do to you what I did to Willa Ford back in 2000. I’ll spare you the specifics, but I’m assuming you want all 10 of those fingers to type out this interview.
Please forgive me, Your Legend. Go on.
As I was saying, Brandy, the lotus is an unbreakable flower. Like me, it is beautiful, strong and can endure even the most grueling of chart positions.
That’s really beautiful. I heard it was actually an acronym too?
Yes, it stands for Legend Of The United States.
Inspiring. You’ve talked very openly–and frequently–about your evolution as an artist. I can’t help but notice the artistic growth displayed on this record.
For instance: In 2010, you sang “If you don’t like it, fuck you” on your chart-middling smash “Not Myself Tonight.” Two years later on “Shut Up,” you sing: “Shut up, just shut the fuck up.” What inspires your continued evolution?
Thank you for noticing, fan. As an international icon and full-time lotus, I’m constantly inspired to share my story with fans and fellow singers with far less stage presence, natural beauty or talent, such as Rhiannon, Nicole Minaj and Keri Perry. “Rise up, lotus. Rise”: that’s my message of inspiration to these struggling up-and-coming acts.
So, let’s begin with the introduction.
The intro on this record is very personal to me. I wrote it last year while submerged in Cher’s bathtub one night during the Burlesque dance rehearsals. I was staring down, and suddenly became quite inspired by my lotus.
And by your “lotus,” just to clarify–
My woohoo, yes. Anyway, I was in my element. I was floating there, and then I thought to myself: My lotus inspires me, but how can I help to inspire the world? And then, the words just leaked out of me. All over the place. Quite literally–I had assistants mopping up the floor for days afterward.
Well, it’s certainly better than anything the Beatles ever recorded. Before we go on, I have to point out: You’ve done some terrific promotion for this record. You’ve suggested that working with Max Martin was beneath you, referred to Bionic as a ‘masterpiece’ in nearly every interview, performed “Your Body” one time with a stapler, and dressed as yourself for Halloween.
Correct, fan. No thanks to my label, R-SAY-A.
There’s been a lot of celebrity support as well: Lindsay Lohan just recently tweeted about Lotus.
Oh! I’m not sure who that is, but if you’re reading: Thank you, fan!
But back to the music. There’s “Army of Me.” I have to ask, as you’re a true lover of music: Was this title inspired by Björk?
Singer of “All Is Full Of Love”? The avant-garde Icelandic songstress?
I’m not sure if that is a man or a woman.
Okay. Anyway, care to indulge us with the song’s meaning?
As any commoner who owns the Keeps Getting Better collection can tell you, I’ve been in this industry for well over a decade now. Yet there are still some younger fans who have somehow not yet had exposure to some of my classics, like “F.U.S.S,” “Sex For Breakfast” or even “Car Wash.” As a result, I wanted to record a “Fighter” for the new generation. To do that, I decided to talk about something everyone can appreciate and relate to: Myself. “Army Of Me” is about the many facets of my personality–over a thousand pieces of who I am, including a fighter, a wiser, and a stronger.
Only one of those things is even a noun.
Exactly. I decided that melody wasn’t necessarily important this time around. Nor the lyrics. It’s just a really empowering anthem about yelling so loudly that you can’t even hear the haters. SAY!
Effective strategy. “Red Hot Kinda Love” is fun.
As with all of my work, my songs are always based on real life experiences. I don’t just toss out records every week like I’m some ratchet island goat that sits on the dick of anyone with an 808 machine and a chart record. Specifically though, it’s about the first bite of a Spicy Chicken Soft Taco. Spi-SAY!
You don’t even need a plate, just your face.
“Make The World Move.” That one’s with Cee-Lo Green, right?
Cee-Lo? The one from your show?
OH! Yes, the fat one. Contractual bullshit for The Voice. It’s about that feeling inside the studio whenever he walks into the building. Next?
We don’t have to go over “Your Body,” as we’ve already done a lengthy analysis of that track in the past.
No need. How about your song “Let There Be Love”? That’s a fun club banger.
Thank you, fan. I wanted to write a song specifically for the gays.
Oh wow! So it’s a LGBT anthem?
No, I mean it’s for the gay clubs. That’s the only place where true music lovers go, and the only place my music is played. SAY!
I wrote it prior to a taping of The Voice last season while three of my assistants were squeeze-tying me into a bejeweled corset that I borrowed backstage at the Stripped Tour. It’s really all about emancipating yourself. It’s about self-empowerment. But mostly, it’s about going out with my girls and gays and just getting so shitty that I can’t tell the difference between an empty KFC bucket and a toilet bowl.
That’s really inspiring.
It’s advanced, as with most of my oeuvre. There are very few artists are experimenting with dance music today. FAN, FAN! [A small, shaking man enters the apartment and hands Legendtina a fan.]
Definitely exploring new territory with that one. “Sing For Me.” That’s an interesting one.
Yes, that one’s really important to me. You know, you see these [making air quotes] “singers” popping up on the singing reality TV shows all the time now. I’m glad I could help pave the way for the lesser talents, but you have to ask yourself: Are they legends? Have they ever slapped Stanley Tucci across the mouth on the set of Burlesque? Do they have a spot on the Gay Walk of Fame at the Abbey? Have they ever sung so hard at a funeral that they proceeded to leak?
It’s really just an introspective number about being an incredible singer, and the struggles involved in being an incredible singer. It comes from a really important part of me: My larynx. I wrote it for haters.
There’s a line in here: “When I open my mouth, there’s no place to hide.” That almost sounds like a threat.
It is. Hi, Mariah. [Cackles]
“Blank Page” is quite beautiful.
Yes, I co-wrote that with an Australian fan named Sia. She wrote a few tracks for Bionic too, as I’m sure you already know. It’s a moment of true honesty, nearly on the level of Mi Reflejo. I think she already knew my name.
She’s very gifted, indeed. And what does being a blank page represent to you?
For me, it represents being a giant piece of paper for fans to write their “Thank You” messages on me.
That’s really generous. Now, “Cease Fire”…
Yes, that one’s kind of different. I wrote that one for the haters. As I continue to evolve throughout my career, I’ve found that there are those that try to hold me down. Specifically, it’s about God-knows-who writing hate shit on their buttfuck blogs. They all sit home–probably at their parent’s house or something–writing shitty posts about my music to get a few “likes” on Facebook. They’re not true lovers of music. I don’t read them, obviously, I just know of them from my fans. Wait–who did you say you write for again?
…Uh, the New York Times.
[Throws gum at my face] SAY!
Thanks for that. Up next, “Around The World.”
Oh, that’s a fun one. Very advanced, musically and lyrically speaking. To try and summarize–as I’m sure you wouldn’t get it–it’s about fucking bodies all around the world: Hollywood, Japan, Tokyo, Milan. It’s also a bit of a LGBT anthem: There’s a lyrical reference to “Lady Marmalade,” a song that I revived with 3 drag queens back in 2001.
Quite impressed with all you’re doing for the community. “Circles”…
This is definitely one of the more subtle tracks on the record. I wrote this one about haters, if you can believe it. Specifically, it’s about telling a hater to take a seat atop my middle finger, and then proceed to spin around. It was actually largely inspired by one of Cee-Lo’s stories about a wild night out with Carson Daly. I’d rather not talk about it, as I’m still recovering from the visual.
I don’t know of a better way to silence a hater than a good fingering.
I think Carson Daly would agree with you. [Cackles]
I really like the chorus. That gritty rock sound, almost like Garbage or something.
You think it’s garbage?
No, I’m saying it almost sounds like the band Garbage.
There’s a band that calls themselves garbage? [Cackles]
Yes. Shirley Manson?
I’d love one, thank you. [The shaking man re-enters the apartment carrying a Shirley Temple on a silver platter covered in lotuses.]
Now, with “Best Of Me…”
I wanted to switch up the lyrical content of the record with my ballads, which is why I decided to write “Best Of Me.” It’s about haters.
Great vocals on this one.
Are you suggesting that they’re not great on every song?
No, I–please stop squeezing my arm. I can’t feel my fingers. Thank you. Let’s just continue on to “Just A Fool,” which was recorded with Blake Shelton.
Oh, contractual bullshit with The Voice. We wrote that together mid-swivel in our chairs during the live elimination rounds. It’s about Kelly Osbourne. Next?
Oh, there’s “Light Up The Sky.”
You know that time in the morning? Right after you’ve had sex for breakfast? That one second when there’s just the right glimmer of sunshine running through your chateau to catch the 2000 Entertainment Weekly Best Websites of the 21st Century plaque hanging on the wall in just the right way? That’s what inspired this one.
We’re almost there.
Thank God. I have a date with a Cheesy Gord–a Rolling Stone interview after this.
Ah, another favorite of mine: “Empty Words.”
Yes. Yes, this one’s actually about the haters.
“Empty Words” has some amazing lyrics: “The funny thing about hurt people is they tend to hurt people.” That’s quite deep when you think about it, really. Even though it’s a deluxe track, this is probably the most effective song about overcoming the haters on this whole album, which is largely just one scream-filled rant session about overcoming the haters to whom you repeatedly insist you don’t pay attention. Maybe if you limited all the hater-speak to this one song, you’d have room to explore some deeper themes–you know, being a true artist and all. Lots of great lyrics, though. “The funny thing about listening is I don’t have to hear you.”
[Looks up from bejeweled Pink Razr] I’m sorry, did you say something? I didn’t hear a single word of that.
We all done here?
Yes. Well, aside from “Shut Up.”
SAY! You know how “Army of Me” is the next generation’s “Fighter”? Well, I felt it was equally important to refresh the legacy of Bionic‘s “Bobblehead” for my fans born after the Bionic reign. I’m talking diapers, and I’m not just referring to Madonna. [Cackles] It’s a little something for the haters.
Is that why it’s full of those irritating censor bleeps?
That’s right, fan.
And there’s all that clever wording, like “You could suck my…”
As with most of my work. I like to challenge my listeners. SAY!
Well, that’s the whole record. Lotus. The long awaited follow-up to Bionic.
It’s certainly something.
I’m glad that’s over with. Tonight’s your lucky night, fan.
[Legendtina reaches behind her and produces a bat.]
OH GOD, NOT AGAIN. PLEASE. HAVEN’T I DONE ENOUGH?!
ALL…I…WANNA…DO…IS… [Legendtina launches into 17-second melisma]
PLEASE. I PROMISE. I’LL BUY THE FUCKING ALBUM.
Lotus was released on November 13. (iTunes)