M.I.A. talks new album, being the 'retarded cousin of rap'

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Much has already been made about M.I.A.’s return from retirement, going down this July when the US dwelling UK MC releases her third studio disc, the un-Googleable /\/\/\Y/\. Coming out of self-imposed exile with attention grabbing viral videos and public beefs with journalists there’s no denying that the album will be a big deal when it lands on July 13th.

But what’s it all about? Well, M.I.A. opened up about the making of the new album in a recent interview with Billboard, but, uh, we’re still not 100% sure, as M.I.A., as she’s wont to do, turned the interview into a typically weird and grandstanding profile of her comeback.

“I was happy being the retarded cousin of rap, now I’m the retarded cousin of singing,” the rapper said before rallying on the production process of the record. “I didn’t want my work to be like a bar graph of, ‘How many new producers can she afford?’. That’s not how I measured it. If you have all three [M.I.A. albums including /\/\/\Y/\, then it makes sense that they came from the same person. And I didn’t want it to be like, ‘Then she met blah-blah!’.”

Working once again with regular collaborators Switch and Diplo, as well as other Mad Decent pals Rusko and Blaqstarr, /\/\/\Y/\ is said to retain much of the classic M.I.A. sonic ambition, with Rusko himself piping up with a more succinct picture of the LP, saying “If you’re an M.I.A. fan and you buy a new M.I.A. record you want to hear something you’ve never heard before. This record gives you that.”

Offering his take on their recording process, Switch explained in the interview that the record didn’t have “any kind of formula” and all parties experimented in the studio until something stuck.

“All the records come around by watching something on YouTube and an idea comes, or by going out to the clubs or something,” Switch explained. “We basically just mess around till something makes us excited enough for her to jump on the mic. We’ll have her run on the track for 10 or 15 minutes, then I’ll come and edit the bits and bobs she likes together. Then we’ll flip it, reverse it, turn it backward and build a song from there.”

It’s just a few weeks away now, but we’ve got to say we’re getting pretty excited to hear the result of all this craziness.


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