M.I.A. is still riding the NFT train.
The British artist’s previously unreleased song and video “Babylon,” teased earlier this week, is now part of a non-fungible token auction via Foundation, along with 10 other tracks from her 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx. The winning bidders will receive the mastered audio of the songs as well as exclusive high-resolution visuals directed by M.I.A.
Vicki Leekx will reportedly hit streaming platforms at a later date.
Profits from the 24-hour auction, which kicked off at 3 p.m. ET Friday, will support the Courage Foundation, an international organization that supports whistleblowers’ rights and freedom of the press, as well as the release of Julian Assange, the embattled WikiLeaks founder who inspired the Vicki Leekx tape. Assange is accused of conspiring with ex-U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to obtain and publish secret government documents. He was ultimately hit with over a dozen criminal counts, including violations of the Espionage Act.
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In a 2019 interview with Al Jazeera, M.I.A. spoke about her opposition to Assange’s extradition to the United States, and described him as “an icon on a scale we’ve never had.”
“I don’t think [the U.S. has] got it right, this big conspiracy with Assange, or for thinking Assange is the big cause of all the shit in the world,” she told the outlet. “Assange is not the problem. He demonstrated an alternative solution, turning up at a time when we needed it most. Persecuting him won’t solve any of the problems we have as humanity going forwards.”
You can watch the full “Babylon” video on M.I.A.’s OHMNI website.