A robot by the name of M.A.I. took over the Instagram page of musician M.I.A. over the last week. Her message was simple: “M.I.A. is irrelevant. She’s got an expiry date… I am techno humanoid. I’m forever.” Now, audiences are finally introduced to the singer’s replacement through her audition video for the job.
“MIA IS DEAD AF, THE FUTURE IS HERE ITS MAI BITCHES,” wrote the robot on a verified Twitter account. M.I.A. responded from her own account: “M.AI is gone A.W.O.L and rogue now It thinks its better then[sic] me.”
— M.I.A. (@MIAuniverse) August 11, 2022
The video opens with someone off-camera asking the robot to share a little about herself. “I am M.A.I. I am popular.” The hyper-realistic then tries to imitate the British musician, showing her best, robotic dance moves. M.I.A. appears throughout the video, showing her potential replacement how to move her butt, shape her hands in a circle, and whip her hair.
“Popular. I’m popular. I’m really, really popular,” she raps over a reggaetón-like beat, before articles about popularity and social media flash on the screen as M.A.I. continues her audition before the robot tries to lean into M.I.A. for a kiss. The video ends with the real M.I.A. shooting her potential replacement with a water gun, essentially killing the clone.
“Popular” is the second single from M.I.A.’s upcoming record, Mata, following the release of “The One.” The new LP serves as her official follow-up to 2016’s AIM, which features songs such as “Go Off,” “Borders,” and “Finally.” Her 2013 LP Matangi featured several standouts, including “Exodus” with the Weeknd and “Bad Girls.”