M.I.A. Pulls Out Neon Guns For “Double Bubble Trouble” Video: Watch

Christina Lee | May 19, 2014 11:13 am

Weeks before she released 2013’s Matangi, the ever-restless M.I.A. sounded somewhat resigned. “I’ve been like, ‘Shit, I’m doing nothing new,’” she said to Pitchfork. “Everything in my life that I stood for and said and wrote about has been explored before.” These sorts of comments seemed to inform how some critics would digest the album. To The New Yorker, this sort of attitude liberated her (“an entirely coherent pop album that makes no concessions to anything currently popular in North America”). To us at the time, it sounded a bit like exhaustion.

No one will think of M.I.A. as being exhausted after seeing her new dangerously playful “Double Bubble Trouble” video, debuted (today) May 19.

There, she pulls out some of the same props from her Late Night with Seth Meyers performance: toy drones, ironic niqabs, neon guns. But there’s more of them, lots more, to the point where viewers are forced to view these playthings in a new, intimidating way. One striking scene in particular (above) shows orange toy rifles fanning out behind M.I.A. like feathers on a peacock. Another shows her wearing a gold grill, albeit the sort made to wire your jaw shut (and, typically, help people lose weight).

The New Yorker premiered a video chat with M.I.A. when Matangi dropped last November. There, she confessed that she initially struggled to imagine visuals for her new music. But her eyes lit up when she talked about her overall aims: reinvent the ’60s hippie. “The definition of hippie’s changed to somebody who eats grains and drinks kombucha and says, ‘I’m not going to pay attention to the world because I’m just meditating,’” she said. “But I’m going to spike their kombucha and get them to wake up again.” With “Double Bubble Trouble,” she does exactly that.

See what Hit-Boy had to say about working with M.I.A. on Matangi when we spoke to him last year:

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.