It has taken me a bit more than a week to properly digest M.I.A’s new music video ‘Born Free’[i] . This radical video has caused quite a stir in the music, internet and TV worlds (it has been obscured by YouTube) for quite obvious reasons. The video is violent and brutally graphic and once combined with a very different and new M.I.A sound, it is horrifying and revolting to watch. In my opinion, this is the most controversial music video ever to be released. However, the violence is not senseless. ‘Born Free’ has an important political message – for our society to be aware of the wrongs committed by governments worldwide, and for us to defend our human rights.
I have been a fan of M.I.A’s music since the beginning. Originally, I read an article in Rolling Stone magazine about her first CD, Arular. Due to the rave reviews, I had to purchase her CD (this was pre-itunes time). Following my fascination with the first CD, I bought her second one as soon as it was available, and I will certainly purchase the upcoming one that is expected to be released late June 2010 (it seems that it will most likely be released July 2010). Once again M.I.A will be working with Diplo, an avant-garde DJ, producer and songwriter. It has been noted by both M.I.A and Diplo that the upcoming CD will be VERY different from the previous two, as well as anything else that’s out there. It seems like M.I.A will be singing over some really weird/ freaky/ dark tunes with a more rock and/or punk vibe without many collaborations, if any at all. But like her previous releases, it will be politically charged (this is a personal conclusion). I am quite surprised at the dark musical feel of the new CD since she just had a baby… shouldn’t it be a little more positive?
Any who, I did like ‘Born Free’ when I listened to the song without watching the video. It is different, deep and challenging to the ear. Particularly for these reasons, I don’t think many people will enjoy it at this time. I truly believe that it will be remembered forever for its activist and forward-looking stance and a different musical vibe. It will definitely enjoyed by few, but reaching Lady Gaga[ii] popularity… probably not.
Here’s a TMZ interview of the 12 year old actor from the music video.
[i] ‘Free’ is a variation of ‘Born Free’ music video that is appropriate for broadcasting
[ii] In her recent interview with NME magazine, M.I.A has undermined Lady Gaga’s music.