The 16-track release includes collaborations from Skrillex and Blaqstarr
There’s another present under the tree for fans of M.I.A. On Christmas morning, the British rapper released a 16-track mixtape for the holiday season, featuring help from special collaborators Skrillex, Blaqstarr, and Troy Baker, Pitchfork reports.
“I present you a gift from the East, star of wonder star of night,” M.I.A. said in a press release announcing the news. “Beauty. Bright. Sacred. Cosmic. Magnetism. A collaboration with God.”
Born Mathangi Arulpragasam (but uses the name Maya), M.I.A is best known for her 2005 breakout album Arular, which catapulted her into music stardom with the reputation of a rapper known to rebel. Her sound has been heavily influenced by her Tamil heritage as well as her personal beliefs surrounding politics, revolution, and spirituality—which means new personal developments often feature heavily in her works.
This is the second release since the rapper— famously fined by the NFL for flipping off the audience during her guest performance in Madonna’s Superbowl Halftime show— revealed she was beginning a new spiritual journey as a Christian. “I had a vision and I saw the vision of Jesus Christ,” she told Zane Lowe in an Apple Music 1 interview. “It’s very, creatively, it’s a very crazy thing because it turned my world upside down. Because everything I thought and believed was no longer, like, the case.”
But the drop is also a continued interest in music from a rapper who famously claimed she was going to retire after her 2016 album AIM. “I want to [retire], and I have said I am. And, yes, that is as much as I have to say,” she told Rolling Stone in 2018. “And it’s time for new people to come through, but that’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult thing. Because actually I think it’s harder now than it was for me 15 years ago, which is crazy. It’s really nuts.”
Can’t find the tracks you’re interested in Spotify? That might be because the new collection can only be heard through MIA‘s website, ohmni.com.