The unstoppable force that is M.I.A is smashing through tracks these last few months, as well as smashing through topics that others would be scared to whisper about. Following last year’s brutal but brilliant Borders, the Sri Lankan born rapper has kept her spotlight trained on refugee crises, medical crises, multiculturalism and the sad conflict between nations.
An extended version of M.I.A’s 2013 Boom Skit, featured on her Matangi LP, surfaced less than a month ago on Soundcloud. Boom ADD is the full length track, and is a reminder of her constant political charge. This week M.I.A has dropped two new surprise tracks, also on Soundcloud. MIA OLA and Foreign Friend have all the infectious beats and hooks that you would expect from M.I.A, and also keep her keen eye trained on issues of immigration.
MIA OLA plunges into murky realities of the Mexican border and the long time contention that marks the division between Mexico and the U.S.A. Opening with a familiar sample, cutting just short of the full Lion King, M.I.A brings together the unmistakable African sound with an Indian inspired melody. But the lyrics are full of border controllers and “hiding in my Toyota Corolla.”
Posted as a double track, the song runs into her second surprise, Foreign Friend. Moving eastward, this one has a backbone of a middle eastern vocal underpinning M.I.A’s straight up flow. Short and sweet, Foreign Friend cuts to the chase with the lyric “Better tell someone I’m an immigrant.”
Pushing the tracks out over twitter, M.I.A sent them out with the caption “TO FLYPIRATES and DJS – THIS IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MIA !!!! LIVE @ THE BORDER OLA !!!! SPREAD THE WAVES” before posting further encouragement to send the songs worldwide before “Disney shut it down!”.
pirates! throw that shit on dj sites WORLDWIDE no borders – b 4 Disney shut it down!
— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) March 17, 2016
No plans for any further releases from M.I.A have been announced as yet, but we can hope that she will keep dropping tracks like these all year! Fresh from an exclusive appearance at Paris Fashion Week, MIA OLA featured on Stella McCartney’s show soundtrack, with the singer herself front row. Twitter has also called for M.I.A to speak out on behalf of the refugees on hunger strike in Calais.