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M.I.A. Producer: 'Born Free' Video Started As Joke; New Album Will 'Scare People'

When M.I.A.'s music video for "Born Free' premiered on Monday, just about every Internet outlet stamped it with a "viewer discretion advised" tag. The graphic, 10-minute video, directed by controversial visionary, Romain Gavras, left many viewers stunned and was pulled from YouTube for its violent imagery. Soliciting such a heated reaction, some might find it ironic that the concept started off as a joke.

"We [had] been talking about [the idea] since the start of the year, [but] I didn’t think she'd actually do it," says Christopher "Rusko" Mercer, M.I.A's lead producer for her as-yet-untitled third album. "It was one of those joking ideas where people would beat the shit out of me because I was ginger [a natural redhead]. It has a whole double meaning. The gingers are kind of anyone who’s been oppressed. She’s so deep and crazy political."

The English producer also explained to VIBE that the video's shock-value mirrors that of M.I.A.'s forthcoming album. "Her record is going to scare people I think. We went a bit crazy - really, really, really left. But then again if you’re an M.I.A. fan, you want to be surprised and be like 'Whoa, what the hell is that?'"

Rusko, who says he and M.I.A. wrapped up the album in Hawaii, shared details on what fans can expect sonically.

"We stood in waterfalls recording with microphones. We recorded her kid's heartbeat and cracking ice - really experimental," he says. "We recorded 20-minute jams of me on the computer with my synthesizer and M.I.A. trying different lyrics and singing styles. Then we just pieced it together afterwards. We wanted it to have a live feel. Almost like [there was] an electronic band behind her."

Though Rusko says M.I.A. is still delivering her usual "everything's fucked up" spiel, the new wife and mother will also be showcasing a surprisingly softer side. "There’s two or three different mentions about her baby and her new fellow as well. It’s not all ‘Fuck the world.’ There’s a track made out of power drills and electrical tools, which sounds like craziness and then there’s a song with a piano and organs in it," he says. "I figure a beat made out of chainsaws is just as surprising as a love song with M.I.A. singing beautifully. Both are not what you would expect."

Rusko is currently prepping for his debut album, O.M.G, set for release May 4. M.I.A.'s third album is scheduled to drop on June 29. —Tracy Garraud

 

SEE ALSO: Cultural Critic Toure Defends M.I.A.'s 'Born Free' Video

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Murderer Of Morgan Freeman's Granddaughter Sentenced To 20 Years

Morgan Freeman's step-granddaughter, E'Dena Hines is finally getting justice. Lamar Davenport, the man who killed Hines in 2015, has reportedly been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. confirms.

Davenport's sentencing was mandated on Thursday (Jan. 17). He was convicted of manslaughter in May 2018. As previously reported, Davenport – who was dating Hines at the time – reportedly killed her in Aug. 2015 outside of their New York City apartment. Witnesses claimed that he repeatedly stabbed her as yelled out comments about religion.  E'Dena was 33.

Davenport was acquitted of second-degree murder after his lawyer argued that he was high on PCP at the time of the murder. A judge ultimately found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter however.

After he's released from prison, Davenport will reportedly be placed under post-release supervision for five years.

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Tyga Claps Back At Soulja Boy, Compares 2018 Streaming Stats

Tyga is clapping back at Soulja Boy after he claimed that he had a bigger comeback than the Young Money artist in 2018. Tyga dropped some receipts on Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 17), proving that his bounce-back was far more superior than Soulja's.

"Who had the biggest comeback?!" Tyga tweeted, referencing Soulja Boy's previous comments. The caption was attached to a side-by-side comparison of Tyga and Soulja's streaming numbers from 2018. The receipts showed that Tyga earned 884 million streams from 58 million fans, while Soulja had only 98 million streams from 16 million streams.

Who had the biggest comeback?! 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/bWS2mMZ5B4

— T-Raww (@Tyga) January 17, 2019

Despite the clear evidence, Soulja Boy insisted that he was still the "comeback king" of last year due to his other business ventures. "I HAD THE BIGGEST COMEBACK OF 2018," he wrote. "I RELEASED MY OWN VIDEO GAME CONSOLE IM THE FIRST RAPPER IN HISTORY TO DO SO!"

As previously reported, Soulja first made the declaration during his interview on The Breakfast Club on Jan. 16. Meek Mill, Tory Lanez, and Lil Yachty previously defended Tyga against Soulja's remarks. Additionally, Soulja took shots at Drake, Kanye West, and the Migos for influencing their musical style.

Check out Tyga's tweets here.

I HAD THE BIGGEST COMEBACK OF 2018!

— Soulja Boy (Young Drako) 💲🔌🔫 (@souljaboy) January 17, 2019

I RELEASED MY OWN VIDEO GAME CONSOLE IM THE FIRST RAPPER IN HISTORY TO DO SO!

— Soulja Boy (Young Drako) 💲🔌🔫 (@souljaboy) January 17, 2019

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DAWN Relishes In Self-love On New Song "Sauce"

DAWN is back with a sexy single off her forthcoming project, New Breed. "Sauce" is a sonic ode to pleasing all her hedonistic sexual desires after a long work week. Lyrically, the song is filled with suggestive lines and clever double-entendres that are far from coy when describing what she wants in the sack.

Just as much as “Sauce” is about sex, it’s also about basking in self-pleasure that comes after genuine self-love. In a statement published by Stereogum, the former Danity Kane member described the message behind the song:

“‘Sauce" is about women taking pride in their prowess, and about being raised to celebrate my skin,” DAWN said. “I lost focus of that when so many men degraded and disrespected my brown skin. ‘Sauce’ is about being bathed in your own beauty, being sexy for you. The new breed of women are unapologetic about sex and the way they choosing to express themselves.”

DAWN recently joined Aubrey O’Day and Shannon Bex of Danity Kane for the DK3 reunion tour across the U.S. In an interview with Billboard, the Louisiana native revealed she wants to give fans more of her authentic self on New Breed.

“This album is my relationship with New Orleans, me as a woman, and how being from New Orleans has created a person in me that acts and sees things a certain way. "'Jealousy'" is a prime example of that,” she said. “I just want to give you the girl from the 9th Ward that you guys only met once on [MTV's] Making The Band.”

Listen to "Sauce" below. New Breed drops on Jan, 25.

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