Single review: M.I.A - Bad girls

M.I.A - Bad girls | Single review

Vicki Leekz was a nice surprise, which featured more of the M.I.A fans liked and boasted songs which were much easier to latch onto and listen to without sounding like you were being ear raped by every stock sound in FL studio with no tangible rhythm or melody to speak of. The stand out song on this mixtape was justifiably "Bad girls". One of the more conformist and structured songs on Vicki Leekz which sounded like it really should have been locked in a vault to be a fully fledged single from an LP. So it's an equal measure of surprise and also understandability that this is what it has now become.

Musically "Bad girlz" is much of what we've heard before. This could have been a left over, unreleased track from Nelly Furtado's Loose or an array of albums released between 2005 and 2008. But M.I.A's 'I really don't give a shit swagger' prevents this from sounding stale and outdated, which it ran the risk of due to the production which comes courtesy of Nate 'Danja' Hills. I love this n***a. I love him dearly, but he phoned in the production. Luckily M.I.A's flow on such form and the Arabian melody which slinks and runs through the whole thing is so infectious, that even if you don't like this song, you WILL move to it. There really is no denying this song.

What makes "Bad girls" work is that it isn't really trying to be anything. Danja isn't trying to reinvent M.I.A's sound in any way. And M.I.A isn't making an attempt to push a boundary or prove anything. It's just a good song, with a solid structure and a beat that's bloody difficult to sit still to. It's a cohesive song which is easy to like, easy to follow and will get picked up by clubs and radio in a heart beat - factors which could not be applied to 90% of  /\/\ /\ Y /\ .

"Bad girls" is not a return to form. More of a fixture to form. If M.I.A takes this approach with her forthcoming album and stops trying to try so hard, then she may be able to deliver something to recapture those who dismissed anything concerning /\/\ /\ Y /\. You can still conform and drop a song which is hot and undeniably you, as M.I.A proves with "Bad girls". Had Danja given this beat to any other female in the game, the song would not have been this good and this is what it boils down to.

Rating: 8 out of 10


  1. Interesting analysis. I liked the track when it was on Vicki Leekx, but once it became a full-fledged single, I thought, "Cool, I wonder what other sounds Danja will add to it."

    After a few days of listening to it, I stopped. As you said, Danja didn't particularly deliver a timeless classic on the production front. And, aside from the third verse, which I don't like, nothing was new enough to make this song worth acting as if it was new or special.

    I'd give it 5.5 stars.


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