Reported by Evan Serpick:
Sri Lankan rapper-singer M.I.A. was in Baltimore this weekend to shoot a video for her protégé, Charm City rapper Rye Rye. M.I.A., remembered by many for performing “Swagger Like Us” with Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, and T.I. at February’s Grammys—while nine months pregnant, flitted around Club Paradox Saturday afternoon, directing the video for Rye Rye’s single, “Bang!” while a nanny looked after her 2-month-old boy, Ikhyd.
The video included several local dance crews doing routines to the song, along with Rye Rye’s performance, and a cameo from M.I.A. They’re also planning to incorporate parts of Rye Rye’s performance at Paradox late Saturday night.
M.I.A. has, time and again, showed her love for Baltimore, appearing on mixtapes by Blaqstarr (who has guided Rye Rye’s career and produced much of her music) and hosting a recent tribute to K-Swift. While she was getting her make-up done for the video, I had a chance to ask her what appeals to her about our fair city.
“It’s really hard to find counterculture in America and Baltimore has the strongest one,” she said. “I guess you can find it down south, but on the east coast, New York used to have that but they don’t anymore and Baltimore does. Whenever I meet people from Baltimore, they live in places like this, burned-out warehouses. It’s kinda unspoiled.”