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M.I.A. Releases Graphic, Explicit 'Born Free' Video (NSFW)

MIA MIA released her new video for 'Born Free' on her website Monday and typical for the wonderfully unconventional artist, this video is in-your-face politics.  On the political nature of her work she has said, "I have to be true to that--I can't take certain things away. I do have a political background. I’m only in England, learning this language and building a life in this society, because of political reasons. Why would I deny that?" M.I.A. has also talked at length about the fusion of politics into her music. "Nobody wants to be dancing to political songs. Every bit of music out there that’s making it into the mainstream is really about nothing. I wanted to see if I could write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing. And it kind of worked."

The video is certainly about something.  It rather graphically (VERY NSFW) shows U.S. soldiers rounding up redheaded men and boys and busing them to the desert where they are brutally beaten and killed. Whether a comment on systematic genocide of the Sri Lankan government during the Sri Lankan Civil War, it's aggressive and startling and the Romain Gavras-directed short is so gruesome (or political) that YouTube pulled it from airing in the U.S.

MIA took to Twitter to rail against her record label, Universal Music Group. "FUCK UMG WHO WONT SHOW IT ON YOUTUBE! FOR THE U.S >>>>>>WATCH HERE http://miauk.com/" she tweeted. Later she wrote, "OK NOT UMG FAULT!"  MIA also took over Pitchfork's Twitter feed Monday afternoon, where she tweeted vaguely political statements such as, "i got digital cash Hactivism at its best Google Bombing with my Infotainment."

kthx.

***WARNING: video contains extremely graphic violence and full frontal nudity**


In a 2009 Coachella interview M.I.A. said, "The Third World deserves freedom of speech just like everyone else. We want to fight the battle to say what we want, whether to be serious or just make fun of ourselves. That's what 'Worldtown' is about, that's what 'Paper Planes' is about. It's what people in the third world live through."

If this video is something people in the third world are living through right now, I have a lot to learn and a lot of help to offer.

And for more celebrity politics, don't forget this, by BHJ. I'd beg to differ, young man.  My money's on M.I.A.

. . .

Anastacia Campbell is here, but also here and here and here and underneath your bed, noshing on some  Rap Snax.







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Comments

BaltimoreGal

Woah, that was fierce. Had to watch it without sound (at work) and it was still really hard to sit through.
good on MIA for sticking to her guns.

cagey

Now THAT is the sort of role model I prefer for my daughter. A woman who stands for something. Hell, YES.

funda62

Wonderfully, horrifically, powerful. Great choice of "minority". Having lived in a country where freedom of speech is only theoretically possible, I treasure it all the more now. After all do you think people in China could get away with having a Facebook group that insinuates they are praying for the death of their country's leader? I don't like that crap but I wouldn't take away their freedom to say it.

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