It’s been a couple of rocky years for Maya Arulpragasam, who is best known as M.I.A. In 2010, her press buildup got more attention than her album, Maya, and 2013’s Mantangi had moments but didn’t quite generate the energy of her first two classic records.
According to her activity lately, M.I.A. is regrouping for a new record called Matahdatah, and today Zane Lowe premiered a record from that release called “Swords”. “Swords” seems to be a return to form, mixing in M.I.A.’s hard-hitting delivery with pounding, world-music-sampling production. It’s exciting shit, and I welcome a return to this sound — “Bad Girls” has to be one of the hardest rap tracks in the last 5 years — with open arms.