MIA - 'Bad Girls'

Some of the most direct flows she has ever committed to tape

After Truffle-gate, Diplo-gate and the coolly received, Sleigh Bells-assisted sonic experimentation of ‘Maya’, MIA put a cap on a bad 2010 with the release of mixtape ‘Vicki Leekx’. It proved to be a saving grace. Sonically taking her back to her organic, Roland MC-505 roots and lyrically facing the imitators and haters with some of the most direct flows she’d ever committed to tape, one of the undoubted stand out tracks was ‘Bad Girls’. With its ‘Paper Planes’-like beat and almost unconscious nod to Daddy Yankee’s dancehall gangbanger ‘Gasolina’, the demo seemed like a perfectly crafted party tune in waiting. But the allusions to car crashes in the lyrics and hook of “Live fast/Die young/Bad girls do it well” struck a deeper chord.

Now, she’s rebooted the track with former Timbaland protégé and Britney/Kanye/Björk collaborator Danja for her forthcoming LP. With his help this is MIA as you’ve never heard her before, taking her pan-global pop smarts and injecting them with a huge growth hormone. The beat shifts with club shaking swagger, while the Eastern synth pattern punches through the speakers. The car allusions are amped up too: “Shift gear/Automatic/Damned if I do/Who is gonna stop me when I’m coming through?” she raps. Damn straight, MIA, damn straight.

Priya Elan

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