M.I.A.'s drama-filled year just got more complicated. A teaser video for a documentary that was set to accompany the rapper's upcoming fourth album, Matangi, was pulled by M.I.A.'s Roc Nation label, prompting the director to quit the project.
Yesterday, director Steve Loveridge leaked the teaser trailer, which was made last year, on his Tumblr account. He was apparently frustrated by the documentary's halted development: "I get an e-mail every few weeks from Roc Nation or Interscope saying it’s all going to start up again, but then nothing," he wrote. Once the label gained word of the breach, they hit Loveridge with a copyright claim from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Soon afterward, the teaser was pulled from YouTube.
Roc Nation wrote Loveridge an e-mail, stating that the leak "screws with everything we've been working on setting up Matangi." Loveridge responded harshly: "I really couldn't give a flying fuck. Count me out. Would rather die than work on this . . . nothing personal :)".
It's only the latest in a string of controversies for M.I.A. Matangi, her fourth studio album, has faced multiple delays and contention from her former label, Interscope, who – according to the rapper herself – insisted that the album was "too positive." "They're like, 'You need to darken it up a bit,'" she stated in an interview with Australian site Gold Coast. "It's like, 'We just built you up as the public enemy No. 1, and now you're coming out with all this positive stuff.'"
The clip – which features footage of Kanye West, Spike Jonze, Interscope's Jimmy Iovine, and producer Diplo – remains available on Vimeo.
M.I.A. did release a new single, "Bring the Noize," last month. Her Matangi Mixtape dropped in February, and the proper studio album is expected to be released later this year.
Watch the leaked teaser here: