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Lily Allen’s ‘Air Balloon’ Cops MIA Rip-Off Backlash

Written by Nastassia Baroni on 14th January, 2014

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Lily Allen is continuing her comeback run, dropping another controversial single from her long-awaited, untitled third album. Entitled Air Balloon, the single is already copping online backlash for ripping off British artist MIA.

Air Balloon‘s melody and staccato beats, not to mention its grainy post-chorus “nah-nah-nah-nah” hook, bears a striking sonic resemblance to MIA’s 2007 hit song Paper Planes and online punters have not let the similarities go unnoticed.

“About the new Lily Allen tune…Someone’s been listening to MIA…,” wrote one Twitter user. “Oh dear. Lily Allen’s #AirBalloon is M.I.A.’s Paper Planes 7 years later, isn’t it? Pretty shady, Lil,” agreed another.

While Allen did take to Twitter to respond to the racism backlash around her previous single, she has yet to comment on the new allegations that she’s copied MIA.

Something that does seem to have passed by relatively unnoticed is the lyrical content of the song. While the track is ostensibly a nursery-rhyme singalong pop tune about rising above the daily grind, it’s hard to definitively surmise whether Ms Allen is advocating day dreaming, or describing a Hunter Thompson-style vaporising high. Perhaps both.

With lyrics like “we’re so high it can’t rain”, “”somebody remind me where I am, Miami or Timbuktu?” and the “trippin’, tri-tri-trippin’ now” refrain, we’ll let you make up your own mind – check out the tune below..

For those who missed the controversy earlier in the year, Allen released Hard Out Here, her first original song since 2009, last year, taking a swipe at sexism, misogyny and the expectations of women in the media. Allen received some backlash, mainly directed at her music video which featured women twerking, as people claimed it was racist.

At the moment Allen is continuing to work on her third album, which is scheduled for release later this year.

Check out all this week’s new music right here!

Listen: Lily Allen – Air Balloon

Listen: MIA – Paper Planes

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