A lot of cool things are happening in pop music right now in regards to political, innovative Sri Lankan rapper Maya Arulpragasam, better known under the alias M.I.A. Not only is she a confirmed featured artist on Madonna’s upcoming MDNA (her first release since 2008’s lukewarm Hard Candy), including the debut single “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” but she’s confirmed through a recent interview with BBC’s Radio 1 that she will be making an appearance at the queen of Pop’s performance at the Superbowl this year along side Nicki Minaj.
Things seem to be aligning for all three woman, actually.
Madonna’s promotional campaign for her new record and movie W.E. are in full swing, Minaj has released two buzz singles, and now M.I.A. adds into radio takeover with the Pitchfork premiered release of a more polished version of a song we first heard on her free mixtape Vicki Leekx, “Bad Girls”.
“My chain hits my chest when I’m banging on the dashboard. My chain hits my chest when I’m banging on the radio. Get back, get down, hold me closer if you think you can hang. Hands up, hands tied, don’t go screaming if I blow you with the bang.” – Many claim M.I.A. has traded in her radical political outlook in exchange for a much safer track, however, it’s clear from the frustrated origin of this track and from lyrics that maintain bullheaded, empowering, and aggressive content that her stance has gone nowhere. If anything, she’s taken a more sociological approach in this outreach, and it works a lot better than the 2010 debut single from \/\ /\ Y /\, “XXXO“, which was unfortunately and wrongly interpreted by many as being a sonic pop-sellout track.
The main difference between the two versions of “Bad Girls” is that…well, the version on Vicki Leekx is very obviously a more stripped, less produced version of the track because of it’s affiliation of being mixtape status, which are normally associated with having a more raw, more bold and accident prone sonic soundscape. So, there’s a bit of frequency build up and confusion in the higher frequencies, but it adds to the charm.
With several surface level listens of the Pitchfork premiere, we have a more intense focus on vocal presence and production (there are a lot more vocal tracks layered on each other in this version), as well as percussion having frequencies carved out for them as opposed to fighting with each other as mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph.
There are a few other middle eastern melodies that are more prominent in this more polished Danja produced mix, and a more focused stereo mix. And it all adds up to an even more powerful and concentrated track that’s more than ready for just an underground listen.
As far as this single is concerned though? We believe it’s just buzz. Maya has already stated she’s hoping for a summer release with this record and we feel as though it’s a smart music business move to release a mainstream friendly, but still signature M.I.A. bad girl style while riding the tidal waves of Queen Madonna’s promotional campaign. It covers up the shit storms she caused during the campaigning of her last record (do we remember the insane controversies over jabbing at Lady Gaga and a New York Times Journalist?) and opens up a bright new world to hopefully take over and re-snatch the worldwide appeal she held during successes of Slumdog Millionaire and “Paper Planes.”
Our chains are hitting our chest jamming out to this one….and the video is rumored to premiere this Friday!
EDIT: Here it is!
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Click Here to Purchase “Bad Girls” [iTunes]