Madonna has some solid advice for Kanye West, who co-produced several tracks on her new album, Rebel Heart, including the excellent "Illuminati": "Don't go to awards shows looking for justice," she says in interviews for Rolling Stone's new cover story. "That's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Just go and have fun. I never got too engaged with who wins awards or not, because I don't honestly think it's that important. So that part of him I can't relate to. Like, what's the point of fighting for somebody to ... like, ‘This person should have got it?'… I think sometimes he takes things too seriously."
She also offered her thoughts on West as a creative force. "It's really hard to describe Kanye in one sentence, so I may have to use several," she says. "He's a brilliant madman. He can't help himself. Like, he doesn't have the same filters other people have. He has to blurt things out – he's always saying inappropriate stuff. But he also has brilliant ideas, if you can get him to pay attention long enough, working with him in the studio. He would come and go. He would drive me bonkers, because he's got so many things going on in his life. And this seemed to be the theme of my record, working with people who can't get off their phone, can't stop tweeting, can't focus and finish a song. It drove me crazy. But when they did pay attention, it was brilliant. I was, like, running around with a butterfly net. But I feel like the music business needs him, because everyone's become so politically correct, so safe. I don't always agree with the things he says or does – I don't always like his music, even. But he's a beautiful mess. I love him."
Madonna had plenty to say about other personalities in current pop, including Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. "Miley is rebelling against her past," she says, "and the manufactured persona that she was as Hannah Montana and her childhood. She's trying to figure out who she is. Since she's been a child, she's been famous, and that must be an incredible challenge. I wouldn't know – I was allowed to grow up and just become who I was in my 20s. That makes a big difference. So I think she's pushing the envelope. I remember when she first did some sexy pictures and the whole world went nuts. And I was like, 'What the hell?' Now look at her. To me, it all makes perfect sense. I think she's a good girl, I think she has a good heart. She's been very supportive of me. And, you know, she knows the difference between what's real and what's not."
And as for Swift: "She has an opinion, and she's going against the norm," Madonna says. "So in that respect, she is similar to me. And also, people just want to give her a hard time all the time because they think she's a goody-two-shoes, so of course I want to embrace her."