M.I.A. releases new Wikileaks-inspired mixtape, ViCKi LEEKX

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On Thursday night, rapper/singer/provocateur M.I.A. released a new Wikileaks-inspired mixtape called ViCKi LEEKX, a 36-minute rhythm frenzy featuring new production work by Diplo, Switch and Blaqstarr and a host of rhymes and rants by the artist born Maya Arulpragasam. It opens with a female-voiced salvo inspired by Julian Assange’s recent freedom of information campaign: “We chose the right format,” says the voice, “We leak the information to the public, and we defend ourselves against inevitable legal and political attacks. Vicki Leekz: leak me.”

The end-of-the-year offering is no doubt an attempt on M.I.A.'s part to have the last word after a particularly rocky professional year. Her 2010 release, “Maya,” failed to generate the buzz that her previous album, “Kala,” did, and the album’s been notably absent on most critics’ year-end lists. Arulpragasam was also the subject of an infamous Lynn Hirschberg profile in the New York Times Magazine that asked hard questions about the singer’s politics and private life.

Can ViCKI LEEKX silence her haters? You can download it in all its chopped-up, AutoTuned glory here.

-- Randall Roberts