Lady Gaga lives for the applause — or so she sings on leaked snippets of "Applause," the first single from her upcoming ARTPOP project — but her fan base has gone a bit further than mere clapping. Last week, her devotees were urging Deadmau5 to kill himself. Now, as London's Guardian reports, members of Gaga's Little Monsters fan community are encouraging each other to notify the singer's label home, Universal Music, of any sites "distributing" the leaked song. (UPDATE: Gaga released the entire version of "Applause" and you can listen to it below.)
About 2,500 fans have retweeted a link to Universal's takedown page. The Guardian points out that one fan wrote about telling the label about 500 links in one night. It's all a strange reversal of the usual situation, where fans are the ones listening to and sharing leaked music and the labels are sending out copyright claims.
Mother Monster, who also retweeted the anti-piracy link, has vented extensively about the leak via Twitter. "Wanna grab some shovels and fuck up some hackers?" she wrote in a tweet at Katy Perry, whose new single "Roar" also surfaced before its official release. "Lord, in HEAVEN WHY," she wrote earlier, adding, "YOU JUST COULDNT WAIT THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR ONE SATURDAY."
Gaga also tweeted lyrics from the leaks, further confirming their authenticity. For instance, she wrote, "Pop culture was in Art / now ART's in POP culture / in me! / I live for the Applause!" In the leaks, she repeats "applause" as a hook that will surely get stuck in more than a few heads, backed by sleek, uptempo electro-pop. It's isn't clear yet if the lyrics will include that post-9/11 New York City subway standby, "If you see something, say something," but fans are already on the case.
It's obviously too early to judge a song based on leaked snippets, but Gaga has preemptively taken a stand against anyone who would dare criticize her at all. Ever. "Dont focus on ANY blogger criticism," she wrote. "I have been a producer/songwriter/musician for over 10 years. Trust the artist bloggers are not critics." We may have some obvious biases on this point, but an artist doesn't get to choose who may have an opinion about him or her. There are no "takedown" requests for snarky blog posts. And what's more: The Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!
"Applause" was scheduled to come out officially on August 19, along with a video for the song, but now she says she will release it today. She'll also perform "Applause" live at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. ARTPOP arrives on November 11, and copies of the album sold through the project's free app will count toward the Billboard charts.
If you dare pick a fight with the Little Monsters, you can hear two purported "Applause" snippets here.
Lady Gaga's "Applause"