In a series of tweets today, M.I.A. revealed a very glaring issue belying the release of her newest album. She noted that, after submitting the record to her "American label," she's without an American visa, and therefore can't tour in the United States to promote it.
I am handing my last LP in to my American label this week. It'll be up to them if its released.I don't have visa 4 states to promote or spk!— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) May 2, 2016
She also used the string of tweets to critique the U.S. music industry, something she's been quite privy to doing in the past:
Can't tour the US without a visa- might have to start writing songs 4 Dj Khaled and Selene Gomez to get heard— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) May 2, 2016
Because M.I.A. often flings barbs at institutions and governments, her public remarks aren't without precedent. She called out the NFL in February with the track "Boom Add," and one month later, she used some samples from the Lion King to issue a commentary on Donald Trump. Her last record, Matangi, was released in 2013.