Song Of The Week: M.I.A.—“Borders”

By Savana James

M.I.A. dropped a fresh new song and with perfect timing. “Borders” is a track for her highly anticipated fifth album, Matahdatah, and it gives me some high hopes that she’s crafted another amazing piece of work. The track itself speaks to current global issues. And with political tensions over the global refugee crisis at an all time high, M.I.A. has arrived just in time to open our eyes.

I’ve always been a fan of the way M.I.A. portrays her own perspective lyrically, one that’s usually the opposite of the Western norm. Borders is no exception to this, as she speaks to some pretty heavy truths. Its a moody synth track with a chill hip hop beat and soft crooning vocals that will definitely get stuck in your head. I personally love that the lyrics are simple, yet force us to think about some relevant issues: privilege, politics, refugees, power, and North American culture. She lists all of these things with a simple refrain: “What’s up with that?”

It’s the kind of song that makes you think, making it a winner in my books. Kudos to M.I.A. for keeping us in check. Check out the song and its impactful music video (directed by M.I.A. herself) which has received of acclaim. Watching M.I.A. singing among refugees climbing border fences and packed boats is some powerful imagery that’s a little tough to face. Totally her style.


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