Just hours after Amy Winehouse was found dead at the age of 27 in her London home, M.I.A. posted "27" to SoundCloud, writing that the song is "dedicated to all my friends that died at 27." She later tweeted that the song was an unfinished demo recorded prior to her 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx.
The track leans on spacey, popping synths, eventually building to include martial, Southeast Asian percussion and glitchy electronics. It's a spooky beat, made all the more disconcerting by her tentative, sing-song delivery and the prescience of the lyrics: "All rock stars go to heaven/You said you'll be dead by 27."