Since her last album Kala back in 2007, her popularity has sky rocketed into mainstream with the help of Pineapple Express, & SlumdogMillionaire in 2008. Months before those movies came out, she declared at Bonnaroo ’08 that she would be retiring. “This is my last show, … and I’m glad that I’m spending it with all my hippies!” Little did she know a year later, while 9 months pregnant (on her due date), that she would be a part of an epic performance at the 2009 Grammy’s. M.I.A. managed to outshine the kings of hip hop taking down the stage with none other than Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kayne West singing “Swagga Like Us.”
Within the last few months, M.I.A. has found her way to be in the media constantly. At Coachella this year, M.I.A. let the world know during Jay-Z’s set via a blimp that her new album /\/\/\Y/\ would be released on June 29, 2010. Almost a week later her first single “Born Free” was leaked on the Internet. Days later a controversial music video came out for the single, forcing YouTube to ban it because of it’s sexuality and violence. The 9 minute video depicts a ginger genocide and the imagery is not easy to watch.
In the last few weeks, New York Times journalist Lynn Hirschburg wrote a piece on the singer. The NYT article basically questions her authenticity by contrasting her connection to the militant Sri Lanka group, the Tamil Tigers and her celebrity lifestyle in the U.S. Needless to say, the article did not sit well with M.I.A. and she took to Twitter to fight back. “News is an opinion!” and posting Lynn Hirschberg’s cell phone number. “Call me if you wanna talk to me about the NYT truth issue, ill b taking calls all day bitches.” Shortly there after M.I.A. released her new single called “Haters” blasting Hirschburg. She raps on the track- “So you wanna hear about my politics? I can show you things that would make you sick,” “And the story’s always f***ed by the time it hits/And why the hell would journalists be thick as sh*t?/’Cause lies equals power equals politics.”
This is not the first time the singer has had problems with the NYT, back in January the newspaper published a story featuring Sri Lanka as a great vacation spot. She fired back “”FUCK NEW YORK TIMES! DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO GO HERE ON VACATION?” she tweeted along with a photo of dead bodies.
As one of the most anticipated albums this summer (also un-googleable), I’m not sure it’s lived up to all the hype. The entire album was leaked on the Internet last week, and I’ve spent some quality time listening. On her opening track “The Message” the minute long song is stating that Google is connected to the government along with everything else. In true M.I.A. fashion there are a couple of dance party tracks such as; “Steppin’ Up”, & “Teqkilla”. Besides the 3 tracks the we’re previously released (“Born Free”, “XXXO”, and “Haters”) there are not that many songs that I’m interested in . Songs like “It Iz What It Iz”, and “Meds & Feds” are very repetitive. The songs feel as if they we’re intended to be fluff for the album. Musically everything sounds on par to her two previous albums, except this one seems to be lacking lyrically. Check out her slower tracks “Space”, and ” It Takes A Muscle”. Unfortunately, one of my favorite songs (and what will become the most commercial) is not on the new album- “XXXO” remix with Jay-Z