Listen: M.I.A. - Can See Can Do
M.I.A. is ready to take your money again.
"Hello, this is MIA, it's okay if you forgot me," sung English / Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. (Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam) on her 2007 track Amazon, likely signalling her intention to re-enter the scene and cause some serious damage with 2007 album Kala, after a two year hiatus since her breakout album Arular. That she did - her clever combination of soca, folk, Tamil film soundtrack bytes and modern electronic dance made for some incredible beats, and her raw raps - that touched on the personal and the political, earnt MIA a Grammy nomination and widespread global play for Kala.
The past two years have been quiet for M.I.A. (with the exception of that great Beyonce remix), after her delayed 2013 album Matangi failed to make a splash (it was her lowest charting album world-wide), despite that incredible track / video Bring The Noize with French producers Surkin and Switch. She's also been plagued by fights with her management, Warner's ROC Nation, who delayed the release of Matangi and reportedly only released it after M.I.A. threatened to leak it herself. Mid last year, M.I.A. also released the anti-war video for Double Bubble Trouble after ROC Nation refused to. The director of an M.I.A. documentary also posted the trailer without ROC Nation's permission, causely a hugely public dispute. M.I.A. left ROC Nation at the start of last year, and has since brought together a new creative team.
Today, the people's princess is back, and stronger than ever. This morning she released a new track, Can See Can Do, and its an absolute return to form. A rough-but-warm slice of outsider dance jam, that witnesses M.I.A. rapping over a rubbery, brittle-synth beat about building a better future - she even throws back to the neon-lit drones that featured in her Double Bubble Trouble clip, rapping a few bars about drones.
In the SoundCloud description, M.I.A. writes, “DEMOCRACY CONVERSATIONS ! TAMILS ARE STILL WAITING ! AND NO MY BEATS ARE NOT BETTER WITHOUT MY POLITICX”, signalling she's not about to become beige anytime soon. "To my hardcore fans hang in there summer is coming," wrote M.I.A. on her Twitter, accompanying the track's posting, exciting fans for potentially imminent new material. Even more exciting - the potential that Diplo could be involved in this new album - M.I.A. recently reunited with Diplo. “Best friends forever @miamatangi,” posted Diplo on his Instagram, along with a photo of M.I.A. putting him in a headlock. The two were romantically involved for a few years, and Diplo crafted some of M.I.A.'s best early tracks, including XR2 and Bucky Done Gun, as well as her biggest hit to date, Paper Planes, before their relationship (both professional and personal) went sour.
Stream the new track below. Nanana nana nana na nanana!