The world’s most famous artist named M.I.A., Mathangi Arulpragasam, has a new album coming out next week. It’s called Maya, but it’s stylized as /\/\ /\ Y /\ because writing like you’re in an AOL chatroom in 1996 is cool all over again. The album has already leaked online, so let’s discuss it a little bit. Yes, it’s relevant to the wild world of technology.
The first thing you see is the cover art. As you can see here, M.I.A.’s face is obscured with old-style YouTube seekbars. That’s what happens when you design cover art months before its release.
This may be a reference to her video for the song “Born Free.” It was quickly banned from YouTube owing to its violent nature. (It was unbanned after a time, but placed behind an age-gate.) I suppose people cannot handle metaphor in 2010. America’s Got Talent, but sitting through a video that deals with complex subject matter isn’t one of them.
So, what better way to fight the power (YouTube is nothing more than an extension of The Man into our lives, at least that’s how I’ve interpreted some of the lyrics) than by replacing the age-old “censor bar” with YouTube seekbars?
I actually don’t mind M.I.A. I like the fact that she lashes out at anyone and everyone who she perceives to be her enemy. She may be a bit, I don’t know, “packaged,” but that doesn’t make her a bad person.