Politically motivated club/shock rap artist M.I.A. has been the talk of the internet news world since Sunday when she graced the Superbowl stage with fellow female pop revolutionaries Madonna and Nicki Minaj. This year’s Superbowl game drew in 113 million viewers, which is the most watched game in history according to Nielsen. During M.I.A.’s short 10 second verse on Madonna’s Superbowl Extravaganza while performing Madonna’s new single “Gimme All Your Luvin'”, M.I.A. finishes her verse with a spontaneous and slick middle finger to the camera which manages to get past the 5 second delay which is supposed to filter out such controversial content before it can be aired on national television. The cameral delay system started with the now heralded Janet Jackson exposure incident from 2005’s Superbowl. Madonna’s 2012 Superbowl performance marks a change in gears for the historic event since 2005 when the more recent acts of The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and The Black Eyed Peas were all family friendly acts which had been labeled as being “safe” for families to watch on national mainstream television.
A quick synopsis on our spotlight-stealing British revolutionary, M.I.A. is the type of artist who is motivated by her own personal motives, and is not the type of artist who aligns herself with being politically correct towards middle aged American soccer moms. M.I.A.’s art is revolutionary in both her coarse political motives involving third world violence and struggle in her home of Sri Lanka, all the way to her over the top Art Nouveau/Punk mentality which dominates a majority of her creative efforts. Controversy is nothing new to this alternative-friendly shock artist, M.I.A. is a very personal type of artist who “just wants her story to be told.” She is definitely an artist of passion and vision. With that being said…
M.I.A. is SUPPOSED to be controversial. Anyone who is familiar with M.I.A., both musically and visually are well aware of this. A lot of us fans and music reviewers, including notorious hipster blogs like Pitchfork and Hipster Runoff would expect this sort of behavior to come from our Sri Lankan princess. I have been an M.I.A. fan since her “Kala” album from 2007, and I will certainly tell you M.I.A.’s rebellious and seemingly reckless nature is something well known across the industry in both independent and mainstream music circles. M.I.A.’s biggest hit “Paper Planes” is chart topping single which features gunshot sounds and lyrics condemning the government and pledging several conspiracy theories, M.I.A. has a track record for being on a government watch list due to her lyrical content. Chances are quite high that M.I.A. knows her role within being asked to be on stage with Madonna at the world’s most watched television program and the opportunity this leaves for a smaller scale artist to leave their impact on the world. With a new album slated to release this year, this spontaneous gesture could be the push M.I.A. needs to come back to prominence after the lower performance of 2010 album “MAYA.” M.I.A’s new song “Bad Girls” just released it’s music video this past week.
NBC and the NFL released an apology press release regarding the inappropriate gestures and while nothing official from the FCC has been released yet, M.I.A. will most likely be paying some hefty fines. Contractually, M.I.A. signed a contract with the NFL stating she would pay any fines imposed by the FCC as a result of her actions, prior to her performance with Madonna this past Sunday. Will the middle finger be worth the fines? Is this really just a publicity stunt for M.I.A.? Does this quick hand gesture send M.I.A.’s message to the world? Who knows, but it has certainly attracted much attention to the rapper, on Monday, M.I.A. is one of most googled subjects for the day. Let’s hope the new album lives to the hype.