British rapper M.I.A. released her new video “Born Free” yesterday and the video has since been banned and removed by YouTube.
The video contains violence and also brief nudity in one scene. (SPOILER ALERT) The video depicts a gun carrying US ‘soldiers’ capturing a ginger-haired kid from a block of British flats then leading him onto an armed bus. The redheads are then taken to a compound where they are blown-up by landmines and executed by the soldiers. A statement by a spokesperson for YouTube said: “On YouTube the rules prohibit content like pornography or gratuitous violence. If the content breaks our terms then we remove it and if a user repeatedly breaks the rules we disable their account.”
Being banned from YouTube is clearly a blow in one regard – YouTube is the most popular online video destination in the UK, with 99.6% of all videos viewed – but the publicity of having a banned video is sure to give M.I.A. a slew of media and viral coverage. M.I.A.’s next album is due for release on 29 June.
The video itself is directed by Romain Gavras and at 8.53 seconds in length is more like a mini-film than a traditional music video – similar in length to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” but without all the advertising and such… this is very much a different calibre of shock music video and makes a clear statement against violence and oppression. Using gingers as the minority group being targeted by the American soldiers will remind South Park viewers of the show’s “Ginger Kids” episode.
You can view the “Born Free” video in full (and uncensored) at M.I.A.’s official website. The video can also be viewed below via Vimeo (courtesy of XL Recordings):