M.I.A. – Matahdatah Scroll 01 “Broader Than A Border”

Bashment, Dance, Hindi, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, Reggae, Tamil, UK, UK Asian, Video

Score: 8.1

Maya is back in full effect with this stunning (kinda) new video. Comprising of banging new song “Swords”, then morphing into a genial album track “Warriors” (taken from her 2013 album “Matangi”), it’s fascinating when melded with the visuals. She’s the embodiment of female empowerment, and the anticipation for her new album is building. Partnering with *Apple Music is an interesting strategy that seems to be reaping dividends for Drake, so let’s just hope that Maya’s “Matahdatah” comes soon. (Reviewed by Jesal)

*FYI this was originally released in July but was an Apple Music exclusive.

Kiran Gandhi – “M.I.A. Live Session”

F***ing Unclassifiable!!, USA

Score: N/A

In keeping with our recent spate of more eclectic posts, check out this awe-inspiring session of drumming by the wonderful Kiran Gandhi – playing along to various tracks by M.I.A. Great work, and many thanks to one of our regular readers (Rochard Scott) for the tip-off. (By Jesal)

Urvah Khan – “War Drum”

Dance, Rap, Rock, USA

SCORE: 7.4

Urvah Khan makes quite a splash in her new video (and that’s not limited to her frolicking about in the ocean). “War Drum” bashes you over the head with relentless catchphrases, vocal switches, musical shifts and attitude in abundance. Where to start? Well, Khan herself is the human representation of a hurtling fireball, all in the form of tattooed/pierced warrior goddess: her insane hair, ripped clothes, teeth that have probably ripped sharks to shreds… As for her style, it would be remiss to ignore the obvious M.I.A. comparisons, particularly when it comes to her vocal delivery: the shouty, half sung half rapped grenades she launches, the controversial imagery, even the way she elongates the last word of a bar. Musically, “War Drum” is quite superb, with an indelible guitar loop and driving percussion, it’s a surefire winner. The only slight criticism we’d have is that the lyrics need a touch more refinement but that will come with time. This is certainly the way to make a quick impression, and we’d bet she will gain as many nonplussed haters as die-hard admirers. (Reviewed by Raman)

War Drum - Universal Rhythm Venture (EP) - EP

M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”

Arabic, Burban, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, Tamil, UK Asian

SCORE: 8.1

The journey of M.I.A. has taken her from Acton/Sri Lanka (Arular), to all around the world (Kala), subsequently marrying the heir to a billionaire and having a child (Maya) and finally to bonafide global superstar. If any further confirmation were needed, just watch the SuperBowl halftime show tonight – she appears alongside Nicki Minaj and Madonna, an extraordinary feat that nobody would have dared to predict 8 years ago. Back in her own right, the precursor to her forthcoming album is the incessantly catchy “Bad Girls” produced by Danja. The Romain Gavras video (shot in Morocco) is perhaps one of the most overblown and visually arresting in recent memory, making Lady Gaga’s visuals look like they were recorded on a Flip. Danja’s production is, of course, reminiscent of his collaborations with Timbaland circa 2006, all Arabic strings, flutes and pomp, and Maya herself just repeats baiting catchphrases, beating you over the head until you submit. It’s sexy, empowering and gutsy. Just like M.I.A. herself. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Bad Girls - Bad Girls - Single

LYRICS:

Live fast, die young- Bad Girls do it well (x4)

My chain hits my chest
When I’m bangin’ on the dashboard
My chain hits my chest
When I’m bangin’ on the radio

Get back, get down
Pull me closer if you think you can hang
Hands up, hands tied
Don’t go screaming if I blow you with a bang

Sukhi Sukhi / I’m coming in the Cherokee / Gasoline / There’s steam on the window screen/ Take it, take it / Wheels bouncing like a trampoline / When I get to where I’m going, gonna have you trembling

Live fast, die young, Bad Girls do it well (x4)

My chain hits my chest
When I’m banging on the dashboard
My chain hits my chest
When I’m banging on the radio

Yeah back it, back it/ Yeah pull up to the bumper game/ Read the signal/ Cover me, cause I’m changing lanes/ Had a handle on it/ My life, I broke it/ When I get to where I’m going, gonna have you saying it

Live fast, die young, Bad Girls do it well (x4)

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
Pull me closer if you think you can hang
Hands up, hands tied
Don’t go screaming if I blow you with a bang

Go into bitch, yeah I’m seeing four million / Accelerating fast, I can do this in a second / Looking in the rear-view, swaggin’ going swell / Leaving boys behind, cos it’s leaving just to kill / Shift gear automatic, damned if I do / Who is gonna stop me when I’m coming through? / What we’ve got left is just me and you / But if I go to bed, baby, can I take you?

Get back, get down
Pull me closer if you think you can hang
Hands up, hands tied
Don’t go screaming if I blow you with a bang

Live fast, die young, Bad Girls do it well (x8)