Tomorrow, British rapper M.I.A. is releasing a new track “Babylon” via Foundation. It’s not being released like any other track, however. The song is being auctioned as an NFT, with funds supporting The Courage Foundation, which works to support truthtellers such as journalists and whistleblowers. The auction begins on Nov. 12 at 12 PM PST / 3 PM EST.
The rapper and activist shared a minute-long clip of the song on Instagram, to which fans commented on its “James Brown feel.” The fast-paced percussion and cheers certainly bear resemblance to ‘70s disco, with M.I.A.’s vocals presenting a unique electronic flair. The song was inspired by Julian Assange, the editor who founded WikiLeaks and a top beneficiary of Courage.
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In addition to “Babylon,” the “Paper Planes” artist will be releasing 10 tracks from Vicki Leekx, her 2010 mixtape: “Winnings bidders of the songs receive the mastered audio and exclusive high res visuals directed by M.I.A,” reads the press release. “The sale goes ahead as Julian Assange trial was concluded last week, as the US Government petitions to overturn a ruling that saved him from extradition to America.”
The artist is expected to be part of the lineup for Just Like Heaven 2022, alongside Modest Mouse and The Shins. She faced controversy in April 2020 after claiming that British Vogue canceled a photoshoot with her based on her Tweets about the COVID-19 vaccine. Following this issue, she released “CTRL” via OHMNI.com, the same website featuring the upcoming tracks.