Though yesterday we posted “Toldya”–the supposed collaboration between M.I.A. and a mysterious artist by the name of Sali–something about the track didn’t feel right. So this morning, we reached out to M.I.A.’s reps to see what the real story was. Turns out she had nothing to do with making the song. Jennie Boddy–the publicist immortalized in the now-infamous Lynn Hirschberg-penned New York Times Magazine M.I.A. profile–tracked down the rogue artist, and wrangled a disavowal out of him:
“SALI would like to clarify that the song ‘TOLDYA’ is not a ‘collaboration’ with MIA as has been misquoted in the press. It features her vocals sampled from a previous recording.” What previous recording? That didn’t take much digging. It’s “M.I.A.,” the eponymous hidden track from 2005’s Arular:
Sali, whoever he is, has also apparently promised to take down the single art in which M.I.A. is so prominently featured; he already seems to have deleted the half of his website that gave the impression M.I.A. was actively involved in the single. The lesson here, as always? Don’t go to war with Maya Arulpragasam and expect to win.