M.I.A. — now also known as Vicki Leekx — has just released a new mixtape, which shares her new name.
The VICKI LEEKX MIXTAPE, which comes in the form of a 36-minute high-quality MP3 file, begins with a computer-generated voice:
We choose the right format
we leak the information to the public
and we defend ourselves against inevitable legal and political attacks
(It’s partly a quote of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, from his must-see TED interview.)
There are two stories here:
1. The album boasts some seriously hot production, not surprisingly in the electronic/hip-hop/dub hybrid zone. With respected guest producers Diplo, Switch, Rusko, Blaqstarr, Danjahands, Munchi, VIIXIIV, So Japan, and also M.I.A. herself, the album is an intense slew of innovative, engaging tracks, adding up to one of M.I.A.’s most impressive offerings, to date.
2. M.I.A. has apparently dedicated her mix to the recent work and methods of WikiLeaks. She goes a step beyond the pro-WikiLeaks crowd, not only recognizing their work as beneficial to issues close to her heart, but acknowledging and glorifying its bad-ass style.
She also appears to liken her (and the rest of the music world’s) embrace of new technology to WikiLeaks, which has done the same. “I’m not talking about getting it for free. I’m talking about making it freer,” M.I.A. states during one of the first tracks.
Others have recognized the same correlation. From a recent analysis of WikiLeaks by the BBC’s Bill Thompson: “This is democracyâ€™s Napster moment, the point at which the forms of governance that have evolved over 200 years of industrial society prove wanting in the face of the network, just as the business models of the recording industry were swept away by the ease with which the internet could transmit perfect digital copies of compressed music files.”
The mixtape goes on to use audio (at 27:53) of WikiLeaks’ first huge revelation — the video from a U.S. army helicopter in Iraq as troops shot and killed men they incorrectly determined were fighters. The men included a Reuters photographer and driver. (“One of em has a weapon.”) A van that came to rescue survivors was also shot at. Two children were inside. Visible in the video, but not quite discernible. They were both wounded.
“We can make that money on the violence. That’s why we need the silence,” she comments in her lyrics.
“It suxx that wiki leaks have to hand over their docx 2 news outlets 2 break the news to the world,” she wrote on Twitter on December 7. “It doesnt make sense.”
Today, the title of a fictional site depicted on vickileekx.com is “WHY THE WORLD NEEDS ViCKi LEEKX,” further endorsement of WikiLeaks’ controversial work. Plus, as she’s made clear in a tweet, Vicki Leekx is her new pseudonym. The idiom “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” seems to apply.
We would probably agree with Maya (M.I.A.) that unjustified secrecy is often a cover for government officials to do illegal or immoral things that would never otherwise be approved of by the citizenry. WikiLeaks has shown this by acting as any good source of journalism should — by shining a light on what was hidden, enabling whistleblowers, and informing the people, thus empowering them with information. This removes the incentive for government folks to act so contrary to their wishes, their interests, and the law.
Maya is no stranger to touching upon and drawing upon political and social issues. And these are not the only issues she tackles here. “A hustla is the female version of a hustla,” she chants, twisting a Beyonce line to create a new one that empowers women much more than the original.
We got this clip of the last track of the mix from GorillaVsBear.net. So they’re the Bradley Manning to our Julian Assange.
“A R U L P R A … G A S A M all day.”
Yes, that’s M.I.A.’s last name. Does she have to spell it out for you?
00:16 – The World
01:39 – Bamboo Go
02:37 – Illy Girl
03:23 – Super Tight
04:50 – Let Me Hump You
07:00 – WWW/Meds/Feds
08:57 – Steppin/Up
09:58 – Go At It
11:30 – Vicki Intermssion
11:50 – GEN -N-E-Y
14:55 – Bad Girls
17:08 – Dutch Dutch
17:27 – Marsha/Britney
19:43 – Tamil Beat Munchi
21:00 – Listen Up
23:48 – Mudersounds Munchi
26:18 – Overdrive
29:30 – You My Love (Feat. Rosaly)
32:38 – Get Around