I had to post the album artwork because it's such a visually arresting photograph that arguably can't be fairly compared to anything, any artist has put out in recent memory (Kanye can be in the discussion, but it's totally two different genres). It would be troubling trying to dissect the references she used for her third self tittle album "Maya", but evidently there is a marriage between technology, art and pop culture. I love all these strips of a video player, perhaps taken out of Youtube. Then the gold bars stacked upon each other forming her name was a sweet idea. The fact that you can only see her eyes on the background, instead of blasting her photo on the front, just gives you an idea on how much she cares for the craft.
The first video below is for her second single titled "XXXO". At first I thought it was some typo, but then iTunes confirmed my doubt. Ironically, the song has little to do with sex, much less porno. However, I sensed a message of love and a search for identity. One of the lines goes, "you want me to be somebody that I'm really not", I just think that surreptitiously depicts the overall tone of the song and her persona. Though I commend M.I.A in attempting a fresh approach in projecting a story, I'm not too crazy about this video. It unmistakably reminds of those gaudy images people would post as comments on Myspace (back then when it was the hot thing). Most of the time they were spam from people I never met. But one thing always stood out, these images were always shinning, or displayed rosettes at one corner, or even worse, read a disturbing message. I never payed attention, I just clicked delete. At the end of the video, there is a phrase that reads "thanks for adding me" implying the video has some type of correlation with the social network dominated world we live in today. In the adjacent video you see the woman herself performing one of my favs songs from the album titled "Teqkilla". I love it how iTunes puts it, "[Teqkilla] is a party anthem where one raises a glass in the spirit of revolution as the music assembles into a militaristic pummel where sounds drop from the skies".