You know this feeling when you love the song so much you listen to it non-stop for days, to the point where you start to feel sick the moment you hear its intro? I bet we all do. Sometimes it happens even on a global scale to the whole humanity. In the recent years we went through „Gangman Style“, „What Does the Fox Say“ and „Harlem Shake“. If the sole mentioning of these tracks doesn’t give you shivers then…well, apparently you didn’t live on this planet for some time.
Let’s assume you’re one of us and you did listen to Harlem Shake, loved it, maybe even did your own crazy interpretation of it, and then hated it forever. The name of its creator however usually wasn’t mentioned anywhere. „Harlem Shake“ was produced by Diplo-protégée DJ Baauer from Mad Decent Label. Technically, it’s a great piece of EDM, but since it went viral, who would take it seriously.
After 4 years which were required for Baauer to get over with the „Harlem Shake“ tag, NY-producer is finally ready to step out of his creation’s shade. His debut LP „Aa“ which was released mid-March, received generally favorable reviews and was welcomed without any skepticism by fans of electronic music. The album featured such hailed industry figures as Novelist, Pusha T, Rustie, Future and G-Dragon. And M.I.A. The very M.I.A. who is now in the midst of her attention-raising campaign in support of immigration issues.
The collaboration with Baauer and G-Dragon came just days before her latest double-single „MIA OLA“ and „Foreign Friend“. This politically charged pair of tracks featured the unlicensed sample of a song from The Lion King, which served as a kind of metaphor for being an illegal immigrant in the foreign country. So, how does our lush and exotic song „Temple“ fit into the context of M.I.A.’s latest affairs?
Lyrically, there is almost nothing to hold on to. The events described in the song take place in some mysterious Southern Asia temple. After the slow intro narrated over flutes and acoustic guitar, the track expands into the fast-paced melody driven by Middle East influenced beats. If it’s not confusing enough for you then wait until the 2nd verse which G-Dragon partly raps in his native Korean language.
„Empowering and transnational, „Temple“ explores what music can be like when geographical boundaries are surpassed and conventions are broken“ writes Billboard’s Tamar Herman. Indeed, it’s a song which has though transparent but still very strong message. And there is no one better at getting her opinion heard then M.I.A.
So, it’s a win-win game: M.I.A. covered the bigger fan-base still being true to her musical course, and Baauer used this really good chance to put an end to any associations with his past.