Trust MIA to make Thursday that little bit more interesting. Dropping ‘MIA OLA’ on her SoundCloud just over an hour ago, the veteran MC used Twitter to tell the world to share the tune – and sharpish – before it gets banned.
“Pirates!” she tweeted. “Throw that shit on DJ sites WORLDWIDE no borders – b 4 Disney shut it down!” It only takes 54 seconds of the track to find out why MIA’s namechecking Disney – and why she’s right to be concerned that the track could get killed at any second – because she’s lifted the opening of the theme to The Lion King, that’s why. And though it’s good, that isn’t the best moment in the fizzingly political piece, which segues into another track, the minute long ‘Foreign Friend’. The best moment is when MIA cuts the beats and simply and swiftly lays down what’s been her mission statement since she started out with 2005’s boundary-breaking ‘Arula’: “Most of the things I do they banned it/But I’mma still do it, I’m a bandit”.
In ‘MIA OLA’ MIA stands firm on her ‘no borders’ viewpoint, following last year’s ‘Borders’ video, which saw her joining a group of refugees travelling across the sea in boats before climbing fences en masse. Though that was a definite nod to the crisis in Syria, ‘MIA OLA’ brings the US/Mexican border to the fore, where Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump wants to build a massive wall in order to keep Mexican immigrants out of America. “At the border I see the patroller, cruising past in their car, hiding in my Toyota Corolla,” she drawls, over glitchy beats before that Lion King sample drops. “I’m a fighter and a lover,” she adds – and on ‘MIA OLA’, she proves she’s as tough as ever.