M.I.A

Pamela Anderson, M.I.A., PJ Harvey, Others Rally in Support of Edward Snowden

Laura Poitras’ phenomenal documentary about Edward Snowden, CitizenFour, has been in theaters for less than a month, but the effect on… Read More

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With New Music and No Label, There’s Hope for Azealia Banks Yet

Today, Twitter beefmaster and onetime “one to watch” Azealia Banks released her second post-major label single, “Chasing Time.” On it, Banks returns to the house influences she navigated impressively in her 2012 mixtape, Fantasea, mixing them with fresh new sounds recalling the work of up-and-coming UK producer SOPHIE. But more than that, she channels her frustrations with Universal Music Group, which signed her in early 2012 to Interscope on the strength of single “212″ but delayed her debut LP into nonexistence, into its catchy chorus: “Am I chasing time? ‘Cause I wasted all mine on you/ Shut my watch, I had the future in my pocket/ But I lost it when I gave it to you.” Keep in mind, this is the label she begged to be dropped from, repeatedly, via Twitter. When she finally was dumped this past July, after two years and one EP (2012′s 1991), Banks declared, “Free at last.” … Read More

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Longform You Have to Read: Notorious Celebrity Profiles, From M.I.A. to Chris Evans

In a world where you have more options for satisfying your longform reading needs than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, their status as classics, or just by a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re looking some of the most notorious celebrity profiles from then and now. … Read More

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The 50 Best Album Closing Tracks in History

A few weeks back, we surveyed the art of the album opening track, putting together a pretty exhaustive list of our 50 favorites and generally opining on what makes for an effective introductory song. The flipside to this, quite literally, is the closing track, and so we’ve put together a similarly epic list of songs that demonstrate how to finish an album in style. There are several distinct genres here — the epic flare-out, the unexpected left turn, the reflective ballad — but they all share one characteristic: making you want to hit “play” again immediately.… Read More

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Divas Being Leaders and Blowing Things Up in the Desert: A Music Video Treasury

Are you a badass lady with either an impressive vocal range, enviable rap flow, or some flashy couture you’ve been dying to wear under the oppressive heat of a thousand suns? Does your song have a sick beat? Do you want to prove your absolute, unassailable diva-hood by leading troops of loyal followers through the desert, then standing alone in a wide shot, sand and chaos swirling about you, while you remain calm as ever in the eye of the storm? Alternately, do you like music festivals and fluorescent colors? … Read More

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The 6 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Weezer, M.I.A. & Partysquad

Weezer is back! M.I.A. gets pissed with ass-shaking EDM! Diplo spells Andre Agassi’s name wrong! A great week for upbeat music (and if you’re looking for something more chill, consider Slow Magic’s “Hold Still” or the new Jessie Ware song.) Let’s dig in.

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M.I.A.’s “Double Bubble Trouble” Video Is Her Post-Snowden Victory Lap

“This may sound like science fiction. But to some, it’s not so far-fetched!” The peppy evening-news-anchor audio clip that opens M.I.A.’s latest embattled piece of creative output refers to a specific development: the use of 3-D printers to create fully functional guns. But it applies just as easily to any number of frightening turns modernity has taken in the last few years. Drones that can hunt down and kill enemies and civilians alike from halfway around the world, for example, or government surveillance of the virtual communication that we’ve become all but dependent on. For years, M.I.A. has very publicly been one of those people to whom these things don’t sound far-fetched at all. With “Double Bubble Trouble,” her first self-directed music video, she revives the themes that once earned her pans, snarky headlines, and New York Times hit pieces for an audience that’s finally caught up with her.  … Read More

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The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Sharon Van Etten, Lil Wayne, M.I.A.

So. Much. New. Music. This. Week. A respectful shout-out to Bob Dylan’s Frank Sinatra cover, but these songs were the soundtrack to my week.

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Gabriel García Márquez on Shakira and 5 Other Authors’ Fascinating Rock Star Profiles

“The most amazing thing about the Shakira phenomenon is the craze that has gripped masses of children.” The late Gabriel García Márquez wrote that in his 2002 profile on Shakira for The Guardian. Even when covering one of the biggest pop stars in the world, the Nobel Prize winner’s music writing doesn’t rank anywhere near his classics like One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera, but it does earn a spot alongside a few of our other favorite rock star/writer pairings. … Read More

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