Listen to this: New singles from M.I.A. and A Tribe Called Red
Where have all the protest songs gone? During the 1960s, folksingers like Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and others wrote and sang activist anthems that tackled issues of war, racism and political corruption, giving hope to a generation of listeners. These days, some of the strongest message-oriented music is coming from the hip-hop and electronic music communities, as proven by the acclaimed rapper M.I.A. and the “electric pow wow” group A Tribe Called Red, both of whom have new singles out this week.
M.I.A .: “Freedun” feat. Zayn
Maya Arulpragasam, a.k.a. M.I.A., is the rebel princess of pop, inventively mashing up elements of Jamaican dancehall, American hip-hop and British grime with often subversive lyrics that challenge political and social norms. The provocative Sri Lankan artist’s latest doesn’t slam as hard on the beats, taking a slower, more seductive approach with M.I.A singing rather than rapping. She’s also joined by ex-One Directioner Zayn Malik, who lends his sweet falsetto to the track. Plenty of swagger on this one.