Win Tickets to See M.I.A. and A$AP Ferg This Friday!

Credit: Alexandria Ethridge
"I gotta close the window before I record 'cause New York don't know how to be quiet!" That's the opening line to A$AP Ferg's hit single "Work," from his 2013 album debut Trap Lord. Now the Trap Lord and Harlem native is swinging back through New York, supporting "The Goddess" M.I.A. on her Malangi tour and making good with his hometown through their pioneering performance at the new Knockdown Center in Queens.

Even though it's a borough away, hopefully the close proximity to Ferg's neighborhood will mean some special surprises are in store--beyond appearances from the rest of the resident A$AP Mob, and the insane live show M.I.A. has earned a reputation for putting on. It's possible there will be pink camo bucket hats for sale; it's possible the earth will shake.

We are pleased to give 3 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to see M.I.A. and Fergvicious perform, and subsequently experience the earthquake that will probably take place at the Knockdown Center on Friday. Find out more after the jump.

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M.I.A. - Terminal 5 - 11/4/13

Categories: Last Night, M.I.A.

Photos Alexandria Ethridge
Better Than: Flying like paper and getting high like planes.

Between the beat cavalcade, the dizzying light show, the nonstop frenzy and a delivery so enigmatically unapologetic it could only be called her own, M.I.A.'s live show is a (mostly) successful demonstration in excess -- and even then that's an understatement. Having already performed one solid show at Terminal 5 before stopping by the (incredibly strange) YouTube Music Awards Sunday night, M.I.A. returned to the cavernous venue to properly celebrate Matangi, the hotly anticipated follow-up to 2010's Maya (or /\/\ /\ Y /\, if you want to the take twice as long to type the title out) with a show as incendiary as the lyrics it banks on. The setlist was generously split between Matangi's track list and the more cultivated hits of M.I.A.'s catalog from her debut Arular and Kala after it, with the familiar bass lines of "Galang," "Bamboo Banga," "Boys" and "Paper Planes," the single Pineapple Express co-opted and transformed into a summer anthem, before the close of the evening.

See also: M.I.A. Classes Up the "Pineapple Express" Trailer

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Radio Hits One: fun.'s "We Are Young" Brings Indie Pop To The Super Bowl And The Hot 100

Lindsey Byrnes
Last week Billboard published the Hot 100 chart covering the post-Super Bowl week, and unsurprisingly the most notable leap on the chart was made by a song featured on the telecast. The surprise was that it wasn't "Give Me All Your Luvin'," Madonna's new single, performed during her halftime show performance with the help of some controversial hand gestures from critical darling M.I.A. Instead, "We Are Young" by the New York-based band fun. (with the help of Pazz & Jop-beloved Janelle Monáe) rocketed up 38 spots to No. 3 on the Hot 100 after being featured in a Super Bowl commercial for the Chevy Sonic. (Madge's latest settled for a piddling No. 10 in its second week on the charts.)

Since being released in September, "We Are Young," the lead single from the band's new album Some Nights, has seen a steady rise in profile. Its Hot 100 peak comes primarily from sales—the song topped the Digital Sales chart with nearly 300,000 units sold—but it had already sold more units that that before the Super Bowl ad aired. So far, it's only made airplay waves on rock radio, rising to a new peak of No. 6 on the Alternative Songs chart last week. But it's hard to imagine that the song won't quickly cross over to pop radio in the same way as Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks," which peaked at No. 3 last year.

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Raise Your Hand (Or Your Finger?) If You Didn't Realize M.I.A. Flipped Off The Super Bowl Until You Read 4,035 Breathless Headlines About It

Well! When I went to bed last night I figured I'd be writing about a couple of aspects of Madonna's Super Bowl halftime show, during which she ran through her catalog with the assistance of Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, a marching band, a choir, and gladiators. There was the whole notion of bringing voguing, which she plucked out of the gay underground two decades ago, to the most heteronormative major event America's spectacle has to offer; there was the nitpicking over the set list (sure, it's a relatively minor hit in the Madonna catalog, but "Causing A Commotion" would have slotted into the medley nicely); and there was, of course, the cruel exclusion of Shufflebot from LMFAO's cameo. (Seriously, what?) But this morning all the chatter was about the controversy stoked by the controversy-stoking M.I.A., who flipped off the camera as a way to put a period on her verse on the still-underwhelming new Madonna track "Give Me All Your Luvin." Just when you thought it was safe to bring pop music back into the halftime show... a finger happens. The only way this could have inspired more silly outrage is if her finger had been drizzled with truffle oil first.

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M.I.A. Drives The Action In The "Bad Girls" Video

In other "M.I.A. in a video" news, this morning also marked the premiere of the clip for "Bad Girls," a fleshed-out-by-Danja version of a track from her ViCKi LEEKZ mixtape. In the clip, Maya struts her stuff through a post-apocalyptic tableau where the highways are so empty, drivers can (and do) engage in the parking-lot practice of "doing donuts," while the more skilled among them tip their vehicles over to one side so ladies can lounge as they're riding. Clip below.

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Madonna Surrounds Herself With Her Past, Football Players, And M.I.A. And Nicki Minaj In "Give Me All Your Luvin'"

The video for "Give Me All Your Lovin'," the first single from Madonna's MDNA, premiered in full this morning, and there is something vaguely... jeans-commercialish about the way the song sounds? I don't know if it's the stuttery beat or the electronically tweaked guitars accompanying Madge on the pre-chorus, or if it's just that she's singing most of the track in her way-airy head voice, but it all sounds very perfunctory, like it's just waiting to be licensed for a spot advertising a juice cleanse or a cruise. Meanwhile, in the video, Madonna reaches back to the past a bit, crowdsurfing a slew of faceless football players in a way that evokes the clip for "Material Girl" and getting her '90s pile-o'-curls on at a later point; Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. are relegated to cheerleader status for most of the video, only getting to wear outfits evoking the "Like A Virgin" ersatz-wedding-dress period for their brief, somewhat rote cameos. Watch below.

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Theophilus London's Indie-Rock Admirers, And His Mutual Affection For Them

Here is a list of artists who have endorsed or collaborated with the gloriously monikered Theophilus London: M.I.A.; TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek; Sleigh Bells; Sara Quin from Tegan and Sara; John Hill of Santigold production repute; and one-time Jealous Girlfriends member Holly Miranda. Not, then, the usual cast list of supporters drafted in to help propel a young rapper up from out of the mixtape circuit and into the major rap leagues. But a spin of Timez Are Weird These Days, the Brooklyn-based rap fop's debut studio album, reveals that to be the idea: He's a rapper, but he doesn't seem particularly bothered about cultivating rap fans.

Timez Are Weird These Days might be grounded in the basic idea that it's a collection of songs that employ rapped lyrics as the main vocal delivery, but its production, grooves, and ultimate ambitions aim elsewhere. At times it's music for a hip party, like the fuzzy, smutty funk of "Girls Girls $." At others, London is swanking around like he's draped in Diddy money, talking about becoming smitten with a "disco queen" that he runs into while hitting up a city's "bistro scene" ("Love Is Real"). London's songs usually push in a pop direction, too: Skipping over the actual rapping part, "I Stand Alone," with its defiantly motivational chorus, does a decent impression of an Eagle Eye Cherry ditty; lead single "Why Even Try" and "Lighthouse" sound like he missed his calling as an '80s pop-rapper. (If only London had Diddy's budget—he could rap over Duran Duran!)

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Radio Hits One: Adele Achieves the Crossover Hat Trick

It wasn't all that surprising when Billboard crowned Adele's 21 as the top-selling album of the first six months of the year—the next-highest seller, Lady Gaga's Born This Way, is still trailing it by nearly a million copies. The British diva missed out on having the biggest-selling digital single of the year so far by a much smaller margin, with "Rolling In The Deep" taking second to Katy Perry's "E.T." by only 30,000 units. Both songs are quadruple platinum.

Of course, odds are Adele will end up with the top single and album by year's end, and she's racked up plenty of other impressive achievements during her hugely successful 2011 run. But perhaps the most rare and difficult to quantify measure of Adele's ubiquity is the sheer volume and diversity of all the singles charts "Rolling In The Deep" has appeared on; it may be the only hit in recent history, and perhaps ever, to appear on Billboard's adult contemporary, dance, pop, rock, R&B and (get this) Latin charts.

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The Curious 21st-Century Decline Of Hype Williams

On Friday, a link to three-minute making-of video for a scrapped, Hype Williams-helmed clip of "XXXO" appeared on M.I.A.'s twitter. The footage shows M.I.A and a small group of dancers (including Beyoncé choreographer Jonté) painted head-to-toe and gyrating to the song's hissing, whirling beat. There's also a tiger. And there's M.I.A. wearing side-slit leggings and Timberlands and looking really awesome in one scene, and in a metallic, skeletal chest plate thingy looking very uncomfortable in another.

"XXXO" isn't Williams' only aborted video with evidence floating around the Internet, where even music videos receive trailers, teasers, and making-of EPKs. The trailer for Rick Ross' "Live Fast, Die Young" has been removed, but the blog posts touting it remain. An 11-minute behind-the-scenes clip for "Robocop" remains just a Google search away.

And then there are the dozens of videos Williams made (and completed) over the course of the past ten years, very few of which rise above being adroit. What happened?

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The 10 Best Remixes By Ad-Rock

The Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 comes out Tuesday. But beyond the trio's newest collection of raffish rap japes, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz--the Beastie who isn't going gray and who isn't rumored to be related to Saved By The Bell's Screech Powers--has been steadily carving out a niche for himself as the unthreatening hip-hop figure to approach when an artist wants to swaddle a song in a classic coat of downtown New York chic. His latest effort, an electronically muted tweaking of fellow New Yorkers Rival Schools' "69 Guns," is a fine prompt to delve into ten of his most varied remix jaunts.

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