M.I.A.’s “Born Free” Vid: Is Ginger-Hate The New Black?

April 27th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Have you seen M.I.A.’s much talked-about “Born Free” video yet?

It’s violent! It’s NSFW! It’s been censored by YouTube! It’s about GENOCIDE, people!

It’s also, frankly, a little silly.

The video depicts an American police state in which Gingers are rounded up and brutally exterminated, and by “brutally” I mean, in that beautiful cinematic way–replete with slow motion effects, big budget explosions, and a pastel desert sky–that filmmakers tend to favor, paradoxically, when they’re supposed to be showing you that killing is anything but beautiful.

And, YES, it’s a metaphor, but it’s also–as people have already pointed out–a South Park episode from 2005. A very funny South Park episode that made me giggle. Is that the desired effect of “Born Free,” to make people giggle at genocide? No? Then pick a better metaphor. Besides, Ginger-Hate is too trendy for M.I.A., it’s too cute.

But where this video really goes awry is with the song itself. “Born Free” sounds a whole lot like 9 minutes of you sitting on your bedroom floor, playing your records backwards. In other words, it’s kinda terrible. Especially for someone like M.I.A., who’s genius at delivering a message with a mean hook (see: “Paper Planes”).

About her music, M.I.A. has been quoted in the past as saying:

“Nobody wants to be dancing to political songs. Every bit of music out there that’s making it into the mainstream is really about nothing. I wanted to see if I could write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing. And it kind of worked.”

And therein lies the problem: “Born Free” sounds like nothing alright…but can you dance to it?

[miauk.com]

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5 Responses to “M.I.A.’s “Born Free” Vid: Is Ginger-Hate The New Black?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DISGRASIAN, Jasmine Davila and Nicotone, jasminedavila. jasminedavila said: RT @disgrasian M.I.A.’s “Born Free” Vid: Is Ginger-Hate The New Black? http://dlvr.it/fKZL [...]

  2. Liu Jing says:

    Deep down she really wants to round up all the Gagas invading her LaLa space.

  3. Sara says:

    I have to say though, Rich’s response totally misses the point. HE has too many problems to deal with the fact that some music video uses people of his hair colour to symbolise persecuted groups? Really? I’m a redhead myself, and I can’t recall the last time I was singled out or treated poorly in a way that is even remotely similar to what my black or gay friends (to name a few) go through.

    I agree that the music is inane. I really think MIA wrote the music for the video, not the other way around. That’s the only possible explanation I see…

  4. Simon says:

    The South Park episode inspired “Kick a Ginger Day” during which untold numbers of redheaded kids in schools were repeated attacked. Yes, it’s funny when you think of it that way.

    Regarding the music video, the ending was similar to the scene in Rambo. I was disappointed in the minefield explosions.

  5. Jen says:

    @Simon I never said actually kicking Gingers was funny. Why would anyone want to kick a Ginger? They’re so freckly cute!

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