M.I.A. video banned from Youtube

April 27, 2010

British rapper M.I.A. released her new video “Born Free” yesterday and the video has since been banned and removed by YouTube.

Sreenshot taken from M.I.A.'s video "Born Free"

Sreenshot from M.I.A.'s video "Born Free"

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):

Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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3 Responses to M.I.A. video banned from Youtube

  1. Pop on April 29, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Not surprised YouTube has banned it. What a lot of senseless violence – what on earth has any of it got to do with music?? If this is supposed to be anti violence, I don’t get it!

  2. Alana on April 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

    This director had Absoultely no morals. i hope that cannot ever be viewed by anyone else ever again.
    Tonights Menu:
    Night mares for me.
    I hated this video.

  3. Barbara on May 2, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I think you’ve all missed the point of this video….this should be shocking…..this should make you uncomfortable….why are you upset with this, and not with all the other stuff like this that is actually happening in this world?? Or does everyone have NIMBY syndrome???

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