This 36-minute mixtape, released for freebie download on New Year's Eve, proves that the industrial-noise diddling of M.I.A.'s 2010 album, Maya, was no fluke. The Sri Lankan rapper still avoids anything as pop-friendly as her 2008 hit "Paper Planes," going instead for the agitprop electro-bleep high jinks that made Maya such a polarizing (yet rewarding) album. With production from her usual cohorts (Diplo, Blaqstarr, Switch, Rusko), Vicki Leekx has playful snippets like "Marsha/ Britney" and the romantic "Let Me Hump You." But "Bad Girls" is her most undeniable tune in years, with Bollywood beats, scratchy synth strings and M.I.A. chanting, "Live fast, die young/Bad girls do it well."
From The Archives Issue 1123: February 3, 2011