M.I.A. Pays Tribute to Beyoncé By Remixing Her Feminist Anthem 'Flawless'
"Men and women are fiftay-fiftay."
By Lauren Valenti
Ever the provocateur, M.I.A. teased her forthcoming "Double Bubble Trouble" music video in epic fashion, and now she's dropped her remix of Beyoncés feminist anthem "Flawless," it's as pristine as the original. The track, called "Baddygirl 2," re-imagines the trap-laced number with even more vigor and boasts a sample of another one of B's empowering anthems, 2008's "Diva."
As M.I.A puts it in the remix, it's is a tribute "for the woman and of course Bey-on-cé." It's also a play-on-lyrics teemed with a call for equality: "My surfboard bitches ride waves, love, all day / Men and women are fiftay-fiftay."
The original, socially-minded song, which was unveiled back in December, is a mix of Beys "Bow Down / I Been On," and Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech "We should all be feminists." The excerpt she calls attention to is as follows:
"We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, 'You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man.' Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don't teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes."
M.I.A.'s tribute to Beyoncé comes at a fitting time on the heels of bell hooks calling Bey an anti-feminist terrorist. We're going to go ahead and assume that she's an active member of The Beygency acting with due retaliation.