Best Videos 2015: M.I.A. - "Borders"
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 08:31:23
M.I.A. officially dropped "Borders" as a single to her forthcoming album, Matahdatah, and as a video she herself directed, on November 27. Two days later, her uncle, Bala, died, and the 40-year-old rapper took to Twitter and dedicated the track to him. All in caps, she posted he "was my icon and role model. One of the first Tamil migrant to come to the U.K. in the '60s who went to inspire so many people as a creative daring man with so much swag that everything I do doesn't even touch his sides. Thank you for helping my family come to England and taking us out of Sri Lanka and saving us. Everything I became was to say thank you to you!"
The song, a dark, skittering, trap beat filled dirge, is a provocative look at the current refugee crisis dominating headlines the world over, and a slap in the face to a culture that upholds the idea of freedom more as a virtue of capitalism than as an inherent human right. Lyrics like "Freedom/'I'dom/'Me'dom/Where's your 'We'dom?/This world needs a brand new 'Re'dom," are great commentary for the time, and tear through the haze of modern life with compassion and clarity. The video offers equally striking imagery, as M.I.A., ever cool-as-a-cucumber, hangs with real-life refugees in crowded boats and along fortified fence walls.
A loving tribute to her uncle, the courage of refugees, and a wake up call to the world, M.I.A. continues to make good on the promise of her song, "Paper Planes" and the words, "If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name/If you come around here, I make 'em all day/I get one down in a second if you wait."
Watch "Borders" from M.I.A.:
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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