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September 17, 2013 12:03 pm

Bring The Noise: M.I.A Finally Set to Release ‘Matangi’

By MOAM Staff, Photo Credit:

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M.I.A.’s fourth album, Matangi, which the singer says sounds like Paul Simon on acid, was originally set to drop like a psychedelic hand grenade back in December 2012. However, the London born MC, best known for the hit single “Paper Planes,” which was featured in Danny Boyle’s Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire, had a dispute with her record label, causing the LP’s release date to be moved to April. Executives at Interscope records thought Matangi was too positive, and according to The Guardian, M.I.A. was told to “darken the album up a bit.” For a singer known for her avant-garde musical style, one that often features controversial social and political lyrics over rapid fire machine gun beats, to be told to darken the album up a bit is a slap in the face. M.I.A. is the same provocateur that “flipped the birdie” (as 110 million people watched) during Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl halftime show, so she’s no stranger to controversy; “too positive” is hardly a phrase most fans or music critics would use to describe her brand of agit-rap electronica.

What started out as a dispute with her record label, however, turned into a full-fledged social media war. Interscope, again, changed the release date from April to “sometime in the fall.” M.I.A., in turn, who is quoted in Rolling Stone as saying, “It’s not easy, it’s not easy. I keep finishing it and handing it in, finishing it and handing it in,” finally gave the finger to the label, ranting via Twitter and threatened to release the album ahead of schedule. Fearing the singer would make good on her warning, Interscope announced it would release Matangi November 5, waving the white flag rather than risk a loss of revenue.

According to a photo M.I.A. posted on Twitter, there are 10 tracks on Matangi. Other sources, however, put the number at 12 and include the song “Bad Girls,” which was first released in 2010 on the performer’s Vicki Leekx mix tape. Song titles on the new LP include “Only 1 U” and “Come Walk with Me.” French producers Surkin and Switch mix many of the tracks. “Bring the Noize,” the first single from the LP, is a nod to the landmark 1987 Public Enemy song, featuring lyrics like “truth is like a rotten tooth, you got to spit it out,” and “do ya like my perfume? Made it at home with gasoline and shrooms.” The track features the swagger one has come to expect from M.I.A. Does it sound too positive? No way. Is it positively angry? Absolutely. 

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