M.I.A. has popped up here and there since her 2016 album AIM, but she hasn’t been a frequent purveyor of new music. She’s been more active on that front this year, though. She dropped a new track in March and she’s back with another one today, “Ctrl.” The track, which can only be heard on M.I.A.’s OHMNI website, has a hard-hitting instrumental and addresses free speech, with lyrics like, “Hands up! / Hand down! / Wake Up! / Snap Out! / We gon’ stand up / When they try to / Control / Control / Control / Control / Control / Control.”
M.I.A. shared a statement about the song, in which she advocates for the freedom of Julian Assange:
“Ctrl! A song for 2020… this is not a song from M.I.A.’s upcoming highly anticipated IIIIIIth LP. It was made for the here and now, today.
OHMNI.com. A space to transcend. An intrusion to the illusion.
‘You know you are lead by tyrands when telling the truth is a crime.’
In opposition to the ongoing extradition of journalist Julian Assange. The significance of this moment and this case is like nothing we have seen in modern jurisdiction.
This is not a left thing, it’s not a right wing, it’s not about a Black thing vs. white thing, it’s about the right thing!
‘The first amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.’
Ctrl is available to stream exclusively on OHMNI.com. Now — free Julian Assange!”
Listen to a snippet “Ctrl” above and check out the whole song here.