M.I.A premièred her new music video for ‘Borders’ yesterday and it’s a very powerful, first-hand look at the refugee crisis, as the rap artist follows refugees on a hazardous journey to Europe while her lyrics chastise governments around the world for failing to help.
Of course, politically charged pop is no new phenomenon but tackling a subject as serious and divisive as the current refugee crisis is not something a lot of artists would feel confident taking on.
However, in modern charts dominated by songs about vacuous subjects, M.I.A – a British musician of Sri Lankan descent – stands out, as an artist who is keen to bring important global topics to her work.
M.I.A’s lyrics for the track question the very fabric of modern society, taking on those who use borders and politics as an excuse to ignore the plight of refugees, and asking what’s happened to people’s sense of unity.
And she hasn’t pulled any punches in the music video for the track either, which she directed herself.
The rapper joins a group of refugees as they clamber over wire fences, cram onto tiny boats, and wade into the sea. In one scene, she also wears a Paris Saint-Germain football shirt, with sponsor Fly Emirates’ logo tellingly replaced with “Fly Pirates”.
Borders is one of the tracks set to feature on M.I.A’s upcoming album ‘Matahdatah’.
Her fifth record is due to be released very soon but, until it officially drops, you can check out the video for Borders below via Apple Music: