Just under two minutes of helpful forward propulsion for a deathly Friday. One foot in front of the other. Finger to the left, next finger to the right. Space, tap, tap tap, send. Start the song again.
This new Madonna video, in which M.I.A. appears (and doesn't do much, along with Nicki Minaj), is not as good as M.I.A.'s new video, "Bad Girls." Considering this, and also the great video Jay-Z and Kanye West made for their song "Otis" last summer, it seems that the Bay Area hip-hop subculture known as "hyphy," which peaked four or five years ago, is having its most lasting cultural impact in the phenomena of the dangerous-looking car tricks known as "ghost riding."
I'm not a big fan of The Game. He's always seemed like he's trying very hard to be something he's not. And his raps rely far too heavily on name-dropping and rehashing petty hip-hop gossip. (Also, and sort of speaking of which, did you ever watch the clips of his appearance, pre-music-career, on the dating show "Change of Heart"? Totally ridiculous.) He gets some good beats, though. Like the one, made by Miami production team Cool & Dre, for his new single, "Shake"-which samples Sam Cooke's classic 1964 hit of the same name.
"Friendly nations who have been assisting in this investigation have indicated to the police in Dubai that the passports were issued in an illegal and fraudulent manner." -Dubai's state media office issued a report saying that it now believes there were 26 people involved in last month's assassination of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, and that the suspects travelled on passports from England, Ireland, Austria, France and Germany. This time last year, M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" was a top 5 hit in countries all around the world-including Israel. (As always, any excuse to watch that video.)
This video contains flashing lights, but it's all the yelling that will probably give you a stroke.
So on the plus side, we're living in a new golden age of the music video! It makes sense, because we all decided about four (six?) years ago that TV was the new cinema. (Then "The Sopranos" ended, but.) So I guess music videos are the new TV? This is a great thing, overall! Fun for everyone. Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" on the heels of Lady Gaga's "Telephone"…. They're all political, or politically-tinged, or exploitatively political. ("Window Seat," at least, was rooted pretty well in history and allegory; "Telephone" was mostly about play… mostly.) But this new thing from M.I.A.? This just reads like pornography to me. And [...]
When you think of noize-bringers these days, does anyone spring to mind more quickly than M.I.A.? I think it is safe to say that when M.I.A. brings the noize, the noize stays brought. You will not believe just how much noize M.I.A. brings in her new video. Take a minute to hear the sheer volume of noize broughted by M.I.A. And what's remarkable is not just the quantity of noize she conveys; this is also some high-quality noize that is bringed. The noize? Consider it officially broughtened. [Via]
M.I.A. is apparently not happy with the profile of her in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, in which Lynn Hirschberg engages in a pretty meticulous takedown of the pop provocateur's cannily crafted image. (Sample line, in which M.I.A. is responding to criticisms that her overheated take on the Sri Lankan civil war is simplistic and damaging: "'I kind of want to be an outsider,' she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry." There are also lots of descriptions of the clothing M.I.A. wears.) M.I.A.'s response to the profile: a Tweet containing a phone number and the message "CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT [...]
Pop provocateur M.I.A. has been throwing elbows lately, so it probably isn't too surprising that her new single "Born Free" (warning: nausea-inducing animated GIF at link) is a pretty aggressive affair once it gets going, with her reverbed-out proclamations cut and pasted over a loop nicked from Suicide's "Ghost Rider." The overall vibe is very similar to the blown-out giddiness put forth by the awesome New York duo Sleigh Bells, whom M.I.A. has been speaking very highly of when she hasn't been bitching over GaGa's 1-D Grace Jones-biting. (The Sleigh Bells love, by the way, is not undeserved, if only for the rapturous "AB [...]