I’m going to call it. M.I.A’s ‘Bad Girls’ is the best video of the 21st Century. The competition is strong. The White Stripes’ ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’, Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’, Outkast’s ‘B.O.B’, Fatboy Slim’s ‘Weapon Of Choice’, The Avalanches’ ‘Since I Left You’, Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) come to mind, but the Romain Gavras-directed marvel made earlier this year inches it. Last night, they won the top prize at the UK Music Video Awards.
Not only is it completely, beautifully badass, it also takes a stab at Saudi Arabian sexism. Armed with machine guns, middle-eastern garb with a hipster twist, bling and catchy dance moves, M.I.A and friends drive, spin, skid and whoop across the stunning desert plain in a modern day drag race held at dusk. Watched and cheered by men, the sassy, stylish video is a middle finger to Saudi’s ban on women driving. In an age where our pop stars generally shy away from social and political concerns, it’s refreshing.
Style-wise, it’s so this century. The bold, technicolour vibe mirrors the mash-up, hipster aesthetic that’s led popular culture over the last 12 years. It also features a see-through car which is probably the coolest thing ever.
Do you agree?