"Bad Girls" made sure that M.I.A. was still in our hearts and minds during 2012, but after the excellent song and video were released, there was radio silence for the rest of the year from Maya Arulpragasam. According to the underground pop star, a new album is still on the way, entitled Matangi and due in April. But according to Interscope, her record label, there's been a problem with the album: It's just too damn happy. M.I.A. explains:
At the moment, I’ve been told it’s too positive. So we’re having a bit of an issue at the label...They’re like, ‘You need to like darken it up a bit...We just built you up as the public enemy No. 1 and now you’re coming out with all this positive stuff.'
It's true that an M.I.A. album of nothing but Tommy James & the Shondells and 1910 Frutigum Company covers would be a little bit jarring, but we're betting Maya's version of "too positive" is just an absence of songs calling for outright insurrection—or at the very worst, like, a couple love songs. Anyway, we can handle the happy stuff, Interscope, honest. Hit us with the positivity.
Lack of star power and corporate backing is causing the show to lose steam.
With the entire world stuck at home sheltering in place, musicians have had to resort to entertaining fans (and themselves) virtually.While some entertained the weary masses in the form of TikTok videos and Instagram challenges, others went as far as performing concerts and DJ sets from the comfort of their homes. But it would be the platform created by super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland that would become the frontrunner in quarantine entertainment.
On March 24, Verzuz was born as a showdown between accomplished artists, songwriters, and producers playing their most popular songs against each other in the spirit of friendly competition. Instagram Live would act as the battleground for the clash of musical titans. Swizz and Timbaland would not only serve as the masterminds of the series but its inaugural battle participants.
Here's what to listen to this weekend.
If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust's weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.