This techno-tinged dance cut is the first official single from alternative dance musician M.I.A.'s third studio album, MAYA. The song was produced by British dubstep producer Rusko and Baltimore-based DJ Blaqstarr, who caught M.I.A.'s attention as a result of his work with her protégé, Rye Rye.
M.I.A. told BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe about the song: "It's kinda [about] being disconnected in L.A. and not having cell phone service or just not being able to leave there for 18 months."
The album's font-challenged title spells out her first name, Maya, in slashes. This in keeping with the titling tradition she established on her first two records, 2005's Arular, which was named after her father and 2007's Kala, which Maya titled after her mother.
Hip Hop legend Jay-Z jumped on a remix of this song. And though they'd worked together in the past, on the cut "Swagga Like Us," it was a move that surprised M.I.A. "I was really surprised he liked 'XXXO,' actually. And I was really surprised he liked the version that's on the album, and not Blaqstarr's version, which is more sort of urban sounding," she told MTV News. "It was interesting he liked the one with the crazy synths and stuff. It's more sort of [an] electro vibe... and his verse is so great. It was good to hear him say the word 'metrosexual.'"