It makes sense for an artist who first released their music onto the social network MySpace back in the early 2000s, to keep the trend going and post their new work onto Patreon. This is exactly what M.I.A has done. Returning after some three years with a new track, ‘OHMNI 202091’, the rapper is attempting to remove her music from any paywalls and ‘keep it open’ as M.I.A writes on her introductory Patreon post. This is the first new track from the singer, whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, ahead of a studio album to be released later this year.
Amid a global pandemic and ensuing lockdown, delivering your new music totally online and independently seems apt. M.I.A expressed how she didn’t want to ‘limit [her] creative energy output’ and she has stayed true to her word with this new track. Featuring a beat from Munchi, the single is M.I.A at her best: unrestrained and unapologetic. It is, lyrically, a mix of personal-political outcries and calls for change with the repeated line, ‘ARE YOU READY FOR WHAT THE TIME GON BRING’.
Released on the 15th anniversary of M.I.A’s first album, ‘Arular’, ‘OHMNI 202091’ is by no means understated and reinforces the rapper’s acclaimed position as a mover and shaker within the music world. The artist explicitly refers to themselves as a ‘REBEL’ in the track and continues to champion women’s rights as in previous work, telling listeners ‘ITS ONLY GLASS ON THE CEILING’. Tweeting about the track, M.I.A said, ‘Free music to get you the fuck up outta bed!’ and that sums up the tone quite nicely.
M.I.A’s off to a strong start in 2020. After receiving countless nominations, awards and honours – including an MBE in 2019 – she appears ready to conquer the new decade just as she has the previous two. M.I.A sixth studio release is definitely something to look forward to.