M.I.A.’s ‘Born Free’ Video Banned From YouTube
M.I.A.‘s 2007 album ‘Kala’ spawned the hit single ‘Paper Planes,’ which was later remixed to create T.I‘s ‘Swagga Like Us,’ and an unforgettable 2009 Grammys performance featuring Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West. But if her latest single ‘Born Free’ — a sample of Suicide‘s ‘Ghost Rider’ — is a themed inclination of her new work, it seems unlikely that her forthcoming album will inspire many hip-hop hits.
M.I.A.’s ‘Born Free’ video premiered on Monday, April 26 and less than 24 hours later, the graphic video was pulled from both the American and U.K. versions of YouTube. The politically driven video touches on topics of military aggression and ethnic cleansing as an unspecified military force rounds up a group of red-headed men and buses them away for torture and execution. The 9-minute video begins as the black-clad militia forcefully enters an apartment complex proceeds to brutally beat residents, including an overweight couple having sex.
A spokesperson for YouTube told BBC News that they make the decision to remove a clip from the site only after it has been reported by a user. “On YouTube the rules prohibit content like pornography or gratuitous violence. If the content breaks our terms then we remove it and if a user repeatedly breaks the rules we disable their account.”
When the video first premiered, M.I.A. immediately took to Twitter to blast her label, Universal Music Group, for not allowing it on YouTube. “F— UMG who won’t show it on YouTube!” she wrote, before realizing that the label was not to blame. “Ok, not UMG fault,” she followed up, linking to miauk.com, where fans can still view the video. A few hours later, Pitchfork Media allowed M.I.A. to take over their Twitter page, where she revealed the potential tracklisting for her upcoming album.
M.I.A.’s third studio album will be released on June 29. Stream ‘Born Free’ on miauk.com