English singer/songwriter/rapper M.I.A., born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, returned from her 2 year musical hiatus to release her incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully crafted lead single from her upcoming album, entitled “Borders“.
“Borders“, released just last month, takes on many important world issues, conflicts and double standards.
“Borders…what’s up with that?“, she asks the listener, in reference to the Syrian migrant crisis, and encourages her audience to ponder over the need for a nation’s border itself. We’re all just one & the same on this planet after all, aren’t we?
“Politics, what’s up with that? Police shots, what’s up with that?“, she sings, asking us to question a flawed system in a world where nothing is as it seems.
And M.I.A. wants nothing to do with this flawed system. “Guns blow doors to the system, yeah, f**k ’em, when we say we’re not with them. We’re solid and we don’t need to kick them. This is north, south, east and western“, she sings defiantly in the chorus.
She also questions popular “stan” or “fan” culture.
“Queen…..what’s up with that? Killin’ it….what’s up with that? Slaying it….what’s up with that?” This line gives incredible insight into Maya’s struggle to understand the modern world. “Queen” and “Slay” are typically phrases used as terms of endearment towards celebrities when they do something we approve of. Billboard just announced Gaga is their woman of the year? Queen! Adele is #1 on BB’S Hot 200…again? Slay! Ariana Grande’s “Focus” scored TIME Magazine’s #9 spot on their end-of-the-year top 10 worst songs of 2015 list? Yikes. Maya questions this, and she has every right to. We worship these people and watch their every move as if our lives depend on it. Aren’t there more productive things we could be doing? Think about it.
She goes even further and questions Kim Kardashian’s controversial yet stunning Paper Magazine shoot, in which she aimed to “break the internet”. Nothing is safe from Maya’s wrath; “Love Wins….what’s up with that?“, she asks. This is in reference to the historic Supreme Court ruling which gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. This line may be seen as homophobic; but it merely questions why some basic human rights have finally been awarded when others remain at large, in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement perhaps.
What did you think of “Borders”? Tweet us @CelebMix or let us know in the comments below!