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M.I.A. + A$AP Ferg

Critics' pick
Photograph: cousindaniel.com
M.I.A. plays to crowds of indie kids and music lovers at Pitchfork Music Festival 2013, Sunday, July 21.

Super-dynamic pop star, art maker (and in fact the only artist in history to be nominated for an Academy Award, Grammy Award, Brit Award, Mercury Prize and Alternative Turner Prize) and controversialist M.I.A. returns to Chicago after a Pitchfork 2013 performance. This time she has a full new record, Matangi, to pull from. Named after a ferocious Tantric goddess, Matangi featured a clubby banger called "Y.A.L.A."—You Always Live Again—a play on Drake's YOLO philosophy, as heard in that car commercial that played 4000 times. A$AP Mob member Ferg may not have the wide commercial appeal as his mate Rocky—he's too dark and hard for that—but he does share some of the same wonderfully demented DNA of kook Kool Keith. "Shabba" was the most enjoyable party jam of 2013, and the MC shoots fireballs out of his Carhartt sleeves in the video for "Let It Go."

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