Sri Lankan/English rapper M.I.A. is no stranger to controversy. Whether it's the politically charged lyrics of her music or flipping the bird at the Super Bowl, M.I.A. knows how to provoke a conversation. But her latest provocation has her own music label seeing red.
M.I.A.'s latest music video is for the song “Double Bubble Trouble”, which is straight from her fourth studio album, titled “Matangi”. The song is a collaboration between M.I.A. and the Partysquad, a team of DJs from the Netherlands.
The music video for “Double Bubble Trouble”, which can be watched above, is classic M.I.A. The video is a neon multicolored assault on the senses with choreographed dancing and 3-D printing. Except that in this video, the printer is popping out big colorful guns.
There are a lot of elements that Universal Music Group – M.I.A.'s label – would have reason to object to. The video contains copious amounts of drug usage, gang imagery, political messages, and at one point, M.I.A. has a sea of 3-D printed orange rifles behind her. She is posing with them like they're the many arms of the Indian goddess Kali. Tame this video is not.
According to Colorlines' report, Universal did not take this music video lying down. The label, after days of playing tug and war with M.I.A., eventually blocked the uncensored video from being played online. Despite Universal's protests, however, the video found its way to the Internet, where it continues to rack up views.
M.I.A. continues to promote the video. Her official website automatically redirects to a page where the “Double Bubble Trouble” music video can be seen. If this is a battle between M.I.A. and Universal over free speech, M.I.A. looks to be winning.