M.I.A. speaks her mind about refugee crisis
People who have been following the career of M.I.A. know she is not the type to avoid any touchy subject in her songs. The Sri Lankan-British R&B and hiphop artist recorded a brand new song in promotion of her upcoming fifth album MatahDatah called ‘Borders’ and it is basically about everything that is wrong with today’s society. She asks herself the question ‘What’s up with that?’ about a lot of things, but in the video she mostly refers to the current refugee crisis. What’s up with that, indeed!
M.I.A. opens the track with a reference to freedom, ‘me’dom’ and ‘re’dom’, with which she wants to say our form of freedom is too much individualized to care about other peoples freedom and that we need to change this. ‘Borders, politics, police shots, boat people, what’s up with that?’, she asks next. M.I.A. who travelled from Sri Lanka to India and the UK as a refugee from the cival war as well wants us to step back and take a look at ourselves, our values, our beliefs and our behavior. She throws in some digs at the online language the youth uses in pop culture (‘Queen, slaying it, bein’ bae, what’s up with that?’) and asks herself why ‘Love Wins’ (the phrase that was used when the USA finally legalized same sex marriage in every state) does not count when refugees are looking for a place to stay. This might be one of M.I.A.’s sharpest songs lyrically and it’s a strong message that should be heard. In combination with the video which she directed herself and features a lot of extras on boats and on fences at borders, she is already gaining a lot of publicity.
Oh, and what about the music? ‘Borders’ is a delicious mix of hiphop, R&B, some oriental instrumentation in the background and a laidback groove. The beats are heavy and the ‘what’s up with that?’ parts are undeniably catchy. M.I.A. would probably not approve if I would say she is ‘slaying it’, but yeah, she kind of is!
You can watch the video on Apple Music.