M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls" Video: An Extremely Detailed Breakdown

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M.I.A. playing second fiddle to Madonna.
Today, the world got an overdose of Maya Arulpragasam, AKA M.I.A., who released not one, but two music videos. The first was a featured guest spot on Madonna's "Hollaback Girl" "Give Me All Your Luvin'".

Tween SMS misspellings aside, Madonna's track is basically an ode to herself and how everyone loves her. So unfortunately, M.I.A. is relegated to playing the cheerleader role with a 10-second rap toward the end of the song.

But with all the notoriety that this guest spot is sure to bring her, we're pretty sure Interscope is looking to finally turn M.I.A. into a star.

Yes, Maya was supposed to be that vehicle. But it failed disastrously under a pile of industrial and dubstep beats

However, if there's something America loves, it's a comeback story, and "Bad Girls", which debuted in December 2010 on her Vicki Leekx mixtape finally gets the promotional push it deserves. Is it coincidence that it dropped the same day as Madonna's video and just days before a rumored Super Bowl appearance by M.I.A.? Probably not.

Still, we loved "Bad Girls" from the moment we heard it. It reassured us that M.I.A. hadn't lost her touch for rapping over catchy beats with lyrics that seem both like a come on and a threat. "Get back, get down/Pull me closer if you think you can hang/Hands up, hands tied/Don't go screaming if I blow you with a bang."



The track, which was reportedly recorded with producer Danja in Miami (local connection!), could just be the "Paper Planes" follow-up that Interscope executives were hoping for. And an amazing awesome and confusing video, directed by Romain Gavras (of ginger genocide infamy), that takes The Fast and the Furious to the Middle East for added visual interest.

But not to worry, we're here to break it down for you.

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0:00-0:20
Landscape views and subtitles let you know this is going to "arty." It will also scare away people who are afraid of films with subtitles.

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0:21-0:26
M.I.A. against burning oil fields and women in hijab ... Middle America is feeling uncomfortable right about now. And in case you forget you are watching an M.I.A. video, Garvas gives you a visual cue.

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0:27-0:40
Garvas continues to set up the scene for us. Women in hijab pose inside BMWs while men stand atop a (future?) oil pipeline. Both groups are posturing threateningly, so you are unsure if they are welcoming your arrival or telling you to back the fuck away.

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0:41-0:58
M.I.A. and the women start dancing, y'all! The hijab-clad girls are now driving down the strip. They're happy to see us.

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0:59
Spoke too soon.

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1:00-1:27
More drag racing and cars driving on two wheels. We're told oil is cheap in the Middle East, so we assume they aren't too worried about running low of fuel. Also, where's Vin Diesel?

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1:28-1:58
A horse appears, probably to juxtapose two forms of transportation ... or something arty like that. Also, M.I.A. grinds atop an SUV. We aren't sure what that's suppose to mean.

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1:59-2:13
M.I.A. is riding atop a car driving on two wheels. Is that a switchblade in her hand? Wait, no, it's a nail file.

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2:14-2:19
It's nighttime! And you know what that means? Dance break!

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2:20-2:27
Who the fuck needs a Phantom when you have a plexiglass car with neon-lit accoutrements?

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2:28-2:40
In case you were wondering, Middle Eastern men like to get down to M.I.A. too.

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2:41-3:13
Oh shit, back to daytime. We can already see the 11 o'clock news: Kids die imitating M.I.A. music video. It makes shuffling look like a pussy move.

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3:14-3:16
This guy reminds us to dance like every day is Super Bowl Sunday.

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3:17-4:01
Everybody get to partying! Men getting down, M.I.A. is looking fly ... Oh shit! A little kid just got flipped and people are jumping off the pipeline. Operation Middle Eastern party breakdown is a success!

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4:02-4:11
M.I.A. and Garvas want to remind you no gingers were harmed during the filming of the "Bad Girls" music video.

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