MIA Sings About Loving a Lot… or is it Allah?
June 20, 2010
Last week I came across “Lovalot,” a new song off musician MIA’s upcoming album /\/\/\Y/\ (or Maya). MIA’s been a provocateur from the start, and I have a sense she’s setting out to prove a point with her new album after accidentally stumbling into mainstream success. So it wasn’t that I was surprised, I suppose, when I heard this song — but I have to admit that my mouth fell open and I put my hand to it.
What about this song got me gasping? Spin Magazine, in an early review, highlights “Lovalot”:
“Lovealot” [sic] alludes in part to the iconic, viral photo of a pistol-wielding Russian/Islamic couple — the husband, a terrorist leader killed last year by police, and the wife, a teenager who tried to avenge his death by suicide-bombing the Moscow subway (at one point the song was titled “A/bdurakh/man/ova,” after the girl’s surname). Merely 20 seconds in, M.I.A. spits, suddenly, “Like a Taliban trucker eatin’ boiled-up yucca / Get my eyes done like I’m in the burka,” and then, “Like a hand-me-down sucker throwin’ bombs out at Mecca,” and on and on. What’s more, when she purrs the line, “I really love a lot,” she stretches the last two words so they sound like “I really love Allah.”
When I listened to the song for the first time, I too heard “I really love Allah, but I fight the ones that fight me.” Here is a link to audio for the track (and please, if you download, support the artist and purchase later). Check it out and give me your feedback. Do you think it was intentional? What point do you think she’s trying to make? Is it a daring artistic statement or just in bad taste? Discuss, folks!