Music Monday: M.I.A. Shows ‘Bad Girls’ Drift as Well as the Lads
Filmed in Morocco, M.I.A.’s vision brings Saudi drifting culture to life with BMWs, Alfas, and Benzes burning the desert sand.
Welcome Team Speed Music Monday, where we feature music videos from our jukebox where the cars steal the spotlight from the stars.
Back in the early New ’10s, one of hip hop’s most enduring artists brought Saudi drifting culture to “The Door of the Desert,” Ouarzazate, Morocco, turning the then-solely male driving scene on its head by placing women behind the wheel alongside the men, set against a backdrop straight out of the Persian Gulf.
That artist, of course, is M.I.A., whose video for the 2012 single “Bad Girls” proves women can have tons of bravado behind the wheel, and then some.
“The inspiration comes from… an image of an Iranian chick driving a truck,” M.I.A. told Noisey in a behind-the-scenes featurette for the video. “She was wearing this crazy outfit and layers of gold, amazing nails, super-feminine, but she was all covered-up and was a trucker.” Ever the badass, this was a perfect fit for the “Paper Planes” rapper.
“We stumbled upon this videos on YouTube,” director Romain Gavras told Noisey. “We were mesmerized. I must have watched all these videos of Saudis drifting on two wheels.”
M.I.A. learned about the drifting culture through these videos. And loved the craziness, adding that one video she and Gavras saw was of a group of men drifting a Toyota truck on two wheels, who then removed one of the wheels to use as a table for tea, as well as smoked some hookah on the still-two-wheelin’ Toyota. Thus was the birth of one of the coolest car-related music videos ever.
“Yeah back it, back it, yeah pull up to the bumper game / With a signal, cover me, cause I’m changing lanes / Had a handle on it, my life, but I broke it / When I get to where I’m going, gonna have you saying it,” raps M.I.A. amid scenes of BMW E36s, Alfa Romeo 156s, and Mercedes-Benz 190Es doing dusty donuts, two-wheel stands, and going at speed as a pair of passengers skate on the pavement with only their shoes. The night scenes add a translucent, neon-lit wagon built in Morocco after builders in India said it would take five months to ship it to the set.