M.I.A.’s new single “Bad Girls” hit airwaves on January 31st when the song premiered on Pitchfork to positive reviews, including a declaration that “her pop instincts and talents remain as sharp as ever”. That’s saying a lot for someone who has been nominated for an Oscar and two Grammys, hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the ten defining artists of the 2000’s decade, and labeled one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
While we have to wait until summer for her fourth album to drop, as of Friday, the heart pounding video for “Bad Girls” is available exclusively on VICE’s new original music channel Noisey, on YouTube. The video, directed by Romain Gavras (also director of M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video), was shot on location in Ouarzazate, Morocco and the cultural influences are obvious. As Black Book Mag noted, it has the markings of M.I.A’s past work: “Punjabi-tinged production, deadpan delivery, booming drums, lyrics about having sex in cars, etc.”, not to mention a beat that you can’t help but nod your head to.
The video certainly echoes the message of the song: “Live Fast, Die Young”. We watch cars race by, performing death-defying stunts and making more dramatic circles than M.I.A.’s hip gyrations (though there are plenty of those too, not to fear). Definitely a video for, and by, thrill-seekers, even the singer herself admitted that the lyrics hit close to home, saying “I thought I was gonna die on the shoot when I saw the drifting… In my mind I was thinking how I was gonna deliver the video…. with no legs”. But I guess that’s just part of the daily grind for a true “Bad Girl”….
Check out the video below and share your thoughts on Bad Girls.