When the last album was released from the Sri Lankan/British superstar, Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam (aka: M.I.A.), I found myself sitting alone at a local bar and sucking back a full pitcher of Mac and Jacks African Amber ale to my head. I had been working a lot at the time and had heard that the local spot was doing their own version of a CD release/listening party for the album with some little giveaways. I decided that I would take that opportunity to go down there by myself, drink a pitcher of beer, and check out the new tracks. Hardly anybody showed up and, although I didn’t win the album itslef, I did go home with a boxload of KALA stickers an shirts that they were unable to dump off on anyone else. This resulted in one of our first giveaways that Monster Fresh had ever held.
Sean Prince and I had gone to seen her perform a couple of years prior as the opening act for LCD Soundsystem. That show took place at the Showbox in Seattle, a venue that both acts have likely outgrown by this point in their individual careers. The whole show was pretty amazing, but it was actually more of a back up plan for us, as her previous performance at Chop Suey had been canceled due to the usual problems surrounding the artist: Green Card issues and the fear of potential terrorism. These days, it seems like LCD Soundsystem has gotten fairly huge and M.I.A. has, by all accounts, become a legitimate “superstar“. The irony of someone like myself writing reviews about anything related to pop-culture is that I am pretty much oblivious to what is or is not popular these days. I can go to a show thinking that an artist is “underground“, whatever that means, only to find out that the venue is completely sold out. Then, I can go to a show with the fear that it will be packed and only find 6 people in the audience. I didn’t realize that M.I.A . was so fucking huge until I saw her performing with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West, while she was pregnant at last years Grammy Awards. My frame of reference was coming from a time when both she and LCD had only just released their first albums. LCD Soundsystem‘s 3rd studio album is set to drop next month in the UK and now, Arular herself is letting out some samples of what her own latest effort is going to sound like as well.
M.I.A.‘s still yet to be titled, third album is slated to drop on Tuesday June, 29th and will be released by N.E.E.T./XXL/Interscope. The first single, entitled “Born Free“, has been bouncing around over the last week, but primarily in the form of a youtube video, which involved the track being stacked over a simple image from Arular‘s performance at last year’s Coachella Festival. Now the song, which features a sample of “Ghost Rider” from 70‘s electronic-pioneering duo SUICIDE, has received it’s own official video, directed by Romain Gavras.
Before watching this video please be aware that it is HARDCORE AS FUCK and NSFW!
You’ve been warned…
Also featured today is a post on Pitchfork.com which exclaims, “M.I.A. Takes Over Pitchfork’s Twitter!”
Here’s an excerpt:
“It’s an exciting day here at Pitchfork. We’ve turned our Twitter over to Maya Arulpragasam herself!
That’s right, all day, M.I.A. will be Tweeting from Pitchfork’s account. So head over to http://twitter.com/pitchforkmedia to follow the madness. Who knows what she’ll post– we sure don’t! Every one of M.I.A.’s Tweets will be marked with the hashtag #miap4k, so you can more easily keep up.“
TWITTER is also the method in which she has chosen to release the following image, which includes the tracklist to her upcoming release