Posted in music | video on April 26, 2010

M.I.A. @ Outside Lands 2009 (more by Chris Graham)

MIA's new record has a release date (June 29th), and she has summer shows coming up in L.A., Europe and New York (where she'll play Governors Island on July 24th).

Now she's released an official video for her new song "Born Free." The ultra-violent short, directed by Romain Gavras, isn't exactly SFW. Check it out below...



Tags: MIA

Comments (57)

This is pretty fucking awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 8:43 AM

Baghdad, USA. Round up the Red-Heads.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 8:44 AM

That video is amazing and totally disturbing at the same time! And as far as the music itself goes, first M.I.A. and her team decide to sample The Suicide. Classy and sweet! Now Martin Rev can afford new wrap around shades and another outfit (love the guy...but that superhero pattern spandex one is getting old).

Posted by blackhat | April 26, 2010 9:04 AM

Damn, MIA does not give a fuck.

I can't place that sample, is it Suicide?

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 9:11 AM

Eric Cartman's WET-DREAM!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 9:15 AM

is that the kid from Gummo? No, like, actually.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 9:56 AM


Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:15 AM

kids, if you liked this video, rent the movie Punishment Park (1970), which this video shamelessly rips.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:24 AM

This woman is such a phony.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:29 AM

Ugh im so sick of fucking MIA, this song is garbage and the video is nonsense...GO AWAY ALREADY!

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:34 AM

i like the song more after seeing the video

@9:11, yes it's Ghost Rider by Suicide you are hearing

excited for the album

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:49 AM

Really liked her last album, but her anti American stance is a bit hipocritical (and tired, remember her youtube video shot out of her Brooklyn apt window?) considering she's on an American label and gets paid in American dollars.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:54 AM

I had my three nine and ten year old cousins over this weekend. I was scanning my ipod for a song they would know, and asked if they knew MIA. not only did they know it, "i love MIA!", they knew almost every word to paper planes. it was something.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 11:25 AM

i just wish she would take a bit more from the clash in so much as let the message be the music and not so much the shock value of a dramatic video. the hipocritical comment in the above post touches upon it perfectly. if you're going to talk it you should walk it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 11:54 AM

Pretty sure this imagines a world where authorities overreact after plunking down $45 for a Carrot Top show and leave sorely disappointed.

Minefields = Prop Comedy.

Posted by J | April 26, 2010 11:58 AM

Thanks @10:24 for mentioning Punishment Park. It's one of those movies I'm pissed/confused/sad that I've never even heard off. Just added it to the queue. Sounds great.

@9:56 I was thinking the same thing. Seriously. That really looks like the kid from Gummo and I'm pretty sure the timing is right for him to be that age now.

Since I haven't seen Punishment Park, the first thing I thought of us was the Ginger Kid South Park episode.

And again I haven't seen it but I don't think the faux-documentary aspect of Romain Gavras' video can be attributed entirely to Punishment Park. The plot maybe, but the aesthetics are definitely more of a rip off of his own father. This kid is going to spend his entire career trying to make another Z. Honestly though, I'm happy to have another Gavras around.

Posted by Fostur | April 26, 2010 12:17 PM

This video is stupid.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 12:39 PM

i love M.I.A but I really don't see the point of this " political stance"

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 1:15 PM

fuck MIA. if you line her coiffers you deserve to die first in the next terrorist attack. dumb ass americans- don't you see the hatred is for you? she doesn't mind cashing those checks in US dollars though. hypocritical bitch.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 4:22 PM

1) About time we got rid of those damn gingerheads.

2) Punishment Park ( and the escape scene from Apocalypto) are pretty awesome, huh?

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 5:16 PM

this is murika you hipicritikal hore y don't u show yer tits or git out of my cuntry

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 7:27 PM

"this might answer a few questions:"

It doesn't. It does, however, answer the question, "What was the worse atrocity - the massacres in Sri Lanka or that website's design?"

I wonder what MIA will think when she find out that the killers were listening to "Paper Planes" when they massacred all those people in Darfur or South Africa. "All I want to do is BANG BANG BANG BANG! And KA-CHING! And take your money!" The only good thing to come out of this frighteningly shitty video is that Suicide gets more money to make more noise.

MIA: tales of a third-world nothing.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | April 26, 2010 9:55 PM

Does anyone also find this video vapid? What's the message she's trying to convey? That the American military is a bunch of genocidal fascists? Surely, even detractors of American foreign policy can agree that this is a crude oversimplification. This video hardly provides a stance on anything. I think M.I.A needs to try harder.

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 9:57 PM

I think this is just an audio/visual response to Justice's comparable waste of my time and energy, Stress. Same director, similar tones, almost exacting in its lack of meaningful statement, symbolism or general usefulness. I want my 10 mins back!

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:06 PM

It's not that a video like this would be completely pointless, even if it lacks complexity or an original narrative. But because it's built on a song about being too cool to care that you're famous, it comes off more sensational than anything. Maybe we're supposed to be impressed by their use of a dance single to address genocide, or maybe the video is a commentary on the ubiquity of war. Either way, I'm not totally won over but I'll watch that dude explode a few more times.

Posted by Foreskinpower | April 26, 2010 10:30 PM

agree with sentiment that she's a phony

Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010 10:58 PM

I'm quite disappointed in this. I really expected more from her. This video does nothing for me, except when it made my jaw drop when the dude exploded, or when little girl was shot. I just don't get it.

Posted by Rachel | April 27, 2010 12:09 AM

debate over whether she's a "phony" should be filed away under "boring flame wars from 2005."

how does she SOUND? that's the only question that matters. (she sounds fucking intense on this song.)

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 2:15 AM

She sounds like a fucking cop yelling at me through a bullhorn - that's how she sounds.

Debate over whether she sounds like a cop should be filed away under "Jourgensen, Al."

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | April 27, 2010 2:28 AM

i mean, sampling is one thing, but completely copying the whole song is another, the differences between this song and the suicide track ghost rider are these : the lyrics.
that's it, everything else is done like a xerox copy.
maybe it's intentional, part of her concept.
thos i think people need to be more aware of what happens int he world, with the wars and all, how about we leave to to wikileaks , they can show THE REAL footage of when shit happens, to make us think, i honestly think that showing violence like that is not helpful to end violence anywhere in the world.instead, it propagates the feelings of hate.
it is very, very sad.

Posted by anonymous | April 27, 2010 5:44 AM

I think the negativity and critique of this "art" really would be more appropriate if leveled at the director. After you've seen the above, watch this:

Same guy, same gratuitous violence and explicit imagery, same lack of substance. I don't particularly love either, but I don't think it's fair to chastise MIA or Justice exclusively for putting these out.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 8:25 AM

shock value vid and cheap publicity stunt to boot.

same thing with dissing lady gaga. rock the boat, create a bit of controversy.

not much substance here, tho the song isn't have bad.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 8:27 AM

simplisitc lefty fantasy - white soliders rounding up red-headed men and pointlessly killing them after sadistic beating... MIA has a point - but she's too ignorant to articulate it - why not a single soldier of color? Surely she knows that the most sadistic and brutal behavior is African on African - or black on black in the states...

Posted by Warpublican | April 27, 2010 8:32 AM

Hollywood Bullshit...Empty, directionless jabs at nothing specific, but of course, its got us talking.

Meanwhile, the song is simply headache-inducing

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 10:21 AM

To make a video about current affairs as they are and re-iterate the gravity of today's wars and humanity's own wreckless self-desctruction would be redundant. She is emphasizing the way in which our race separates unfamiliar notions and ideals from those of the majority and labels them inferior. Seeing a piece of commentary referring to the vapid, trivial, inane, and mind-numbingly selfish way in which we have ignored our impact on the world around us is necessary to broaden our perspective. Living life in contentment and satisfaction is important, but acknowledging and correcting our errors is perhaps more so.

Posted by LB | April 27, 2010 10:56 AM

"To make a video about current affairs as they are and re-iterate the gravity of today's wars and humanity's own wreckless self-desctruction would be redundant. She is emphasizing the way in which our race separates unfamiliar notions and ideals from those of the majority and labels them inferior. "

is that what mia is doing? "broading" our perspective? don't think so.

why not show Sunni on Shia violence? or Hindu vs Muslim? or Black on Black? religious intolerance has been around for a couple thousand years before the U.S. was even a county. extremely complex issues like this can't be sorted out in a 5 or 10 minute pop video.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 11:49 AM

little too close to home for the yuppies who look at the pictures on this site. you've been out-lefted

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 12:00 PM

So fucking cheesy. It's one thing to sample a song, completely ripping it off is another. Fisrt brazilian funk, then clash now suicide. Do something new with it instead. The novelty aspect has officially worn off.

Posted by Unanymous | April 27, 2010 12:24 PM

Lest we forget, Wreckx-n-Effect's Rumpshaker got ripped off too - or did they get paid?

"All I wanna do is a boom, boom, boom and a zoom zoom... Shake yr rump"

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 1:51 PM

"agree with sentiment that she's a phony"

Ever one that is in the music industry, including artist are ALL phones. Better believe that.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 2:43 PM

Everyone* my bad.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 2:44 PM

Yes, it is completely valid to note that an artist who wishes to make this kind of statement can use re-life examples like "Sunni on Shia violence? or Hindu vs Muslim? or Black on Black? religious intolerance" to expose this kind of anachronistic intolerance. However, art leaves room for interpretation, analysis and discussion - -art universalizes notions and subject matter, whereas selecting one of the issues mentioned above would have ignored all the rest.

In essence, her stance is valid as an informed person's viewpoint of this multi-faceted, layered, and dynamic world. Nothing more or less.

Posted by LB | April 27, 2010 3:08 PM


"art leaves room for interpretation." yes i agree 100%. but the end result is the issue for me and in MIA's case I don't think it is all that great and/or successful. as a person of a western background
I've seen the stereotype of the 'bad' US soldier countless times.
she could have selected one of the groups I mentioned and it would have made for a 'universal' statement as well- had it been done in a creative and compelling way.

politics and R'n'R have always been a bad mix. I've never seen any pop star who could do both really well. she's an entertainer first and a (faux) revolutionary second.

Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010 8:12 PM

So I've watched the video several times and although I'm not quite sure what it all means I think it's brilliant.

Instead of using this video to bash M.I.A why not just stop and acknowledge the significance of the video? As some people have said, I think this video could best be interpreted as something that causes viewers to stop and think (call it a publicity stunt if you want).

Also, people are commenting on how she allegedly didn't solve the major issues of the the world in her ten-minute pop video when the fact of the matter is that not only is that impossible but furthermore its really not her job. She's a music artist not the president, head of the Peace Corps, or god reincarnated or anything else. This video is her artistic representation of something and until she chooses to explain it publicly it is unnecessary to tear her down (or even build her up, one could argue) for what you BELIEVE to be her argument. You're not in her head or the director's.

Posted by g_mitchell | April 27, 2010 11:31 PM

This video is timelier than anyone must've realized when they were making it.

Surely she knows that the most sadistic and brutal behavior is African on African - or black on black in the states...

Awesome, the racist guy showed up! Now it's a party. BVomit.

Posted by Sheriff Arpaio | April 28, 2010 1:34 PM

wow indeed so many people are up in arms over this... #1 M.I.A. credits Suicide for the song... #2 the Justice video didn't bother me either... #3 no need to be racist. #4 Shocking footage needs to be seen as far as abuses... though... I guess this is America and we kinda lost that a long long time ago. Sarcasm turned off...

Posted by jub burence | May 2, 2010 6:23 AM

We paid for that video with our American Dollars. MIA, it's highly hypocritical to take our cash from album sales and then become our self appointed conscience. I didn't vote for that.

Yes, it's true, America is not perfect. But the peace we enjoy here has been hard won by the sacrifice of millions of brave men and women who have come before us. Just because Sri Lanka, or other developing nations, still have troubles, does not make our land evil. We had our time filled with an overbearing repressive force. It's called the Revolutionary War of 1776, We've had our invasions. It was called the War of 1812, and we've had our own Civil War.

Just because these events are in the past, does not delegitimize their outcome. We here in America, our society, is a cumulative outcome of those, and many other, soul shaping events.

I know the tired old statement of ; "If you don't like it - don't watch it." -But actually, I didn't have a choice when I visited many sites that were infected with her viral campaign. It automatically loaded and played. Because MIA had my trust as an artist, I stayed tuned; but never again. That video should have come a with a graphic content warning.

I would suggest that the American Flag emblems on the soldiers be removed in post production. If the race of "Gingers" are fictional, then so too should be the oppressive force in this film. That way, we can move away from political commentary, to understanding the universal message MIA wishes to share. But perhaps the horse is too high to come down from now.

Posted by Double You | May 2, 2010 2:22 PM

2:22 what rock are you hiding under?

Posted by Anonymous | May 2, 2010 7:02 PM

mia sucks ass. she's just a gangly limbed terrorist cunt with weak-ass mic skills and shitty beats.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2010 1:34 PM


I am not a phone!

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2010 2:19 PM

This video is a "what if" allegory that forces us to face the atrocity of genocide by placing it in our own back yard. The events in the video are purposefully portrayed as occurring in the US – hence the US soldiers. (The UK, or any other Western nation, would work as well. It makes sense, though, to target to the moralities of people of the most powerful nation on the planet.) The persecution of gingers - a generic representation of any cultural – brings the reality closer to home: the guy next door is now the enemy (think war related dehumanizing propaganda).
The question proposed is - would you let this happen at home? If no, why do we ignore such inhumanity, elsewhere?
We are being pushed to address our blind complicity.
This is a contemporary protest song, compelling us to voice our outrage at this happening in our world? If we aren’t prepared to speak out against atrocities elsewhere, will we have the fortitude to prevent them from happening here?

Posted by anon | May 3, 2010 10:49 PM

10:49, your apologetics is fail. it is blatant and pedestrian pot-stirring in order to create the illusion of relevancy.

Posted by Anonymous | May 4, 2010 2:00 PM

did you know that you created a unique google hit with "pedestrian pot-stirring"? It would be a great name for an album!

Posted by anon | May 4, 2010 8:41 PM

8:41 huh, trippy. cheers for taking the time to notice!

seriously though, i didn't care for the video, and not a fan of mia, although i think i remember loving the idea of her (and her pictures) when i first heard about her back lo those many years ago... i am skeeved out by the whole EROS/tamil eelam thing. and the crappy rapping.

Posted by Anonymous | May 4, 2010 10:24 PM

#1 woulda been more hardcore if she had her little baby son acting as if getting shot in head in video, instead of professional hollywood child actor
#2 anyone know the budget on this big vapid capitalist extravaganza
#3 agree with phony/hypocrite remarks

Posted by salva p. | July 27, 2010 8:35 AM

diamond engagement ring? ever heard of blood diamonds, babe?

Posted by salva p. | July 27, 2010 8:38 AM

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