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February 07, 2012  | by: Emily Simpson

M.I.A. is rarely afraid to express her true feelings.

Since the release of her debut album, Arular, in 2005, British rapper and producer extraordinaire M.I.A. has commanded the attention of the world at large – both as a musician and as an activist. She’s had several singles reach the top ten on music charts across the world, one single go three times platinum in the U.S. and Canada, and she worked closely with the likes of Diplo, Timbaland, Spike Jonze and Rye Rye. To put it mildly, M.I.A. is kind of a badass.

So it’s rather fitting, then, that her latest single from her upcoming fourth full-length LP is called “Bad Girls.” An early version of this track appeared on her 2010 Vicki Leekx mixtape, but the updated edit dropped worldwide on January 31st to wide acclaim. The accompanying music video was released on February 3rd and has incited some interesting responses across the board. Some people are wondering if the video is supposed to be a social commentary on Saudi Arabia’s patriarchal culture; others refer to it as a lady gangsta fantasy.

Regardless of the critical interpretation of the video, there is no doubt that “Bad Girls” itself is a stomping, swaggering anthem of empowerment and pride. “Pull me closer if you think you can hang,” she challenges. Well Maya, I don’t know for sure if I can hang, but I’m definitely willing to give it a try.

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