MIA dropped their new single “Popular” on Friday (August 12) along with a disturbing music video.
In the clip, the British rapper takes on the training of “MAI”, his ultra-hip cyborg lookalike, to become an artificially intelligent influencer. Dressed in matching pale yellow bucket hats and green and black patterned shirts, MIA teaches the robot to flip her hair, mimic her swaggering attitude and gain endless internet validation, all while rapping, “Yeah, love me like I love me, love me / Suddenly it’s about me, about me / Now you wanna be around me, ’round me / ‘Cause I love myself, I’m living my best life.
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However, just as MAI is set to take Instagram and TikTok by storm, MIA makes a surprising move by knocking the robot out of action with a few squirts of a water gun.
The hypnotic track follows “The oneas the second single from MIA’s upcoming studio set MASTwhich is due out via Island Records in the coming months.
Speaking about the themes of the upcoming album, the artist hinted in a interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, “The kind of music that – genres, I should say – is very much like self-centeredness. It’s not like I’m an artist who came from gospel or something For me, it was like going on this trip, and also, it was a big time to talk about like Islamophobia…talking about wars in the Middle East, and things like that.
In September, MIA big title The New Portola Festival in San Francisco with The Chemical Brothers, Flume and Kaytranada.
Watch the music video for MIA’s “Popular” below.