A Brief History of M.I.A. Songs Released Online

Sometimes amid all of her Super Bowl show upstaging and sniping with journalists, we forget that music is what initially made M.I.A. famous.

So it was with great pleasure that we took in the preview of “Come Walk With Me,” that she tweeted Sunday. “mannnnnnn , days like this i wanna jus upload the songs right now and go clime the himalays with ikhyd on my back,” the “Paper Planes” singer wrote before posting a link to a YouTube video featuring two minutes of this unreleased track set to a video of teeangers dancing.

It’s not the first time that M.I.A. has dropped a gift into the laps of her fans on a digital whim.

While the most incendiary thing that she has posted online might be incriminating audio of journalist Lynn Hirschberg—and the New York Times writer’s cell phone number—after Hirschberg wrote a not-too-nice profile of her, there have been plenty of other releases that are a bit less battletorn. (And both the tweet with Hirschberg’s digits and the audio have been removed from M.I.A-related sites).

In February, she released the video for the track “Bad Girls” via Noisey’s You Tube channel, and last year, her collaboration with French techno star SebastiAn, “C.T.F.O.” hit the web long before the album featuring the song came out.

Another 2011 web release came when M.I.A. posted to SoundCloud a new song, “27,” that came with the inscription, “dedicated to all my friends that died at 27.” On Twitter, she dedicated the song to the recently deceased Amy Winehouse. And on the last day of 2010, an entire album, the “Vicki Leekx” mixtape was made available for free on the web.

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