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M.I.A. says new album is 'too positive' for release, threatens leak

M.I.A. threatens to leak her own album
Jason Plasecki/ Getty Images

M.I.A. fans anxiously awaiting the release of her next album, “Matangi” might be waiting for a while – that is, if it’s left up to her record label, Interscope Records. The “Bad Girls” singer tweeted yesterday: “If Interscope takes longer I can always leak this next week and make a new one by the time they are ready.”

Also known as Mathangi Arulpragasam, she claims that the label said that her upcoming fourth project was “too positive” (based on her previous works), insisting that the music was a departure from her public image. In January of this year, she admitted that she was attempting to meet the label’s demands after they criticized that the sound was too cheerful. Indeed, the Sri Lankan/English rapper is known for her edgy persona and controversial antics. During her performance with Madonna at the Supebowl XLVI Halftime Show, she made headlines for giving the audiences the middle finger.

Album leaks have become prevalent in the music industry, especially with the proliferation of technological advances and social media. Def Jam ran into a similar problem with Kanye West when “Yeezus” leaked in June. The “Black Skinhead” rapper was evidently unmoved by the leak. There appears to be a growing concern that musicians will use this “accidental” method of exposure in order to combat disputes over creative control.

M.I.A. is not the only artist recently to blame record executives for stifling their work. Earlier this month, former teen idol JoJo (“Leave”, “Too Little Too Late”) maintained that her third project has been sitting on shelves for close to seven years. She plans on suing in order to be released from the label she says has caused “irreparable damage” to her career.

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