Entertainment behind the scenes
M.I.A.’s latest video “Born Free”, which features scenes of nudity and graphic violence, has fueled a raging Internet debate over the merits of the British-born rap artist’s latest politically-charged offering.
The nine-minute video, directed by Romain Gavaras, depicts American-flag clad commandos rounding up a ginger-haired minority, who are later executed or forced to run through a landmine-laden desert.
The disturbing video kicked up a fuss on YouTube and then ignited a tweet storm of opinion ranging from: the_real_amy, “I’m horrified! No words… #mia #bornfree” to this from angiewa, “Attaching a message to your art doesn’t make it pretentious; it makes you one the few pop ‘artist’ I’m interested in. #bornfree”
The video, which at one point on Tuesday appeared to have been pulled off YouTube but is now up and streaming again on the site, is also available to watch on M.I.A.’s website.
Back in 2008, visual artist turned rap star M.I.A. was blowing up in everyone’s faces as the year’s hot new star, with her mix of killer hooks and political outrage. Then came 2009 and the rise of Lady Gaga, weird outfits, killer stage antics and all. Now in 2010, M.I.A., aka Maya Arulpragasam, is squaring off against Lady Gaga, aka Stefani Germanotta, in an interview with the British magazine NME.
“None of her music’s reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is,” M.I.A. said in the interview. “She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic.”
Responding to Internet reports on Friday that she had named her son Ickitt, M.I.A. took to her MySpace blog to set the record straight. “My baby is not called Ickitt, Pickit or Lickit, thank you very much to all the Hollywood press,” she wrote. “He’s a baby, he don’t need press!”
“They say that you’re often late the first time, so I’m planning to go,” M.I.A., 31, told the newspaper USA Today. “We’ll see. People are trying to get me to relax and focus on the baby. It’s like being in parallel universes.”