Fans have hit out at Zayn Malik after he collaborated on a M.I.A. track which uses a slang phrase about rape.
The 23-year-old former One Direction heartthrob sings vocals on the track Freedun, which was released by the Sri Lankan hip-hop star on Thursday (01Sep16). In the song, M.I.A. raps: "I rape that button just to play this song."
The lyric means to repeatedly hit the 'replay' button on video sharing site YouTube to watch and listen to a track over and over again, according to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper.
After the track was released, Zayn's fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations at the singer being linked to the controversial lyric. "M.I.A used the word rape and I’m disgusted Zayn agreed to collaborate on that song... it’s trash anyway. Get him out!" one person wrote.
"Why would Zayn agree to collaborate on a song where the word rape is used ew (sic)," posted another.
M.I.A., who was slammed for sticking up her middle finger while performing with Madonna during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2012, previously said she created the new song with Zayn over messaging app WhatsApp while she was in India.
"We just basically did it while I was here," the 41-year-old rapper explained last month (Aug16). "We've just been going back and forth on WhatsApp."
“I made this song a long time ago, and it was always a bit too mainstream sounding for me," M.I.A. said of Freedun. "If I was going to have a collaboration and have someone like Zayn, this is perfect. It takes me out of my comfort zone and kinda takes him out of his a little bit as well."
M.I.A. also wrote songs for Zayn's debut solo album Mind of Mine.
She recently confirmed her fifth album, called AIM, will be her last. The project, featuring guest spots from DJ Blaqstarr, Skrillex and M.I.A.'s ex-boyfriend, producer Diplo, will be released on 9 September (16).