M.I.A – Born Free

Yes, the song you are currently listening to really is the work of M.I.A. As an artist renowned for her mashing of genres and eclectic back catalogue, this track still stands out as one hell of a wildcard. Born Free is straight up punk – musically and in its message – and whilst suiting M.I.A’s ethos as an artist, may not suit many of her fans.

With a sample taken from Suicide’s Ghost Riders, the song chugs along through four minutes of scuzzed-out distorted riffs and unrelenting drums, all tied together with M.I.A’s extended battle cry against repressive governments. It’s a difficult listen, make no mistake, but the track’s raw power should be commended. In a live context too I imagine it’ll sound pretty spectacular.

The intense video for the song is directed by Romain Gavras, also responsible for that of Justice’s Stress (horrid ASBO teens run around terrorising or destroying everyone and everything in sight). Similarly, it plays on social fears, this time of oppression based on race or ethnicity. I won’t give too much away, but let’s just say in this reality, Mick Hucknall would be in trouble. A heads up too, definitely NSFW.

BY MAX HUNT