- easily frustrated with parents/authority figures: check
- increasingly interested in the opposite sex and/or sexuality: check
- seeking independence: check
- greasy hair/acne: check
Today's topic is everyone's favorite Sri-Lankan lady rapper, M.I.A.
I discovered her when I heard her song "Paper Planes" from her new Kala album in my friend's car. I immediately became infatuated. The thing about M.I.A is that you either see her, fall in love with her style, and THEN hear her music and fall in love with it too, or the reverse. That's how I came to know her first. M.I.A's style is intoxicating. She wears daily what we all wish we could indulge in. Shiny, neon outfits with everything from metallic Converses to candy-colored bangles. Even Marc Jacobs can't get enough of her playful charm, casting her in his latest photo shoots. Or maybe It's her London street accent that has us swooning, like that of Lily Allen or Lady Sovereign.
I believe that the most refreshing thing about M.I.A is her message. While Fergie and Mariah Carey seem to surrender themselves to pop culture's expectations of female artists, what with songs like "Fergalicious" (Everytime I turn around/Brothers gather 'round/ always lookin' at me up and down/Looking at my "uh") and the self-explanatory "Touch My Body", M.I.A raps about war and poverty. Two of M.I.A's music videos for Kala were filmed in poverty stricken-areas, "Boyz" in Africa and "Bird Flu" in India. Her song "Hussel" communicates with third-world refugees scrounging for survival. One of the most entertaining and insightful songs on the album is "Mango Pickle Down River" which features a group of amateur boy rappers called the Morganics.
But don't worry. If you're not in the mood to empathize with third-world civil wars, songs like "Boyz", "Jimmy", and "Paper Planes" should satisfy you're sugary pop appetite. And don't miss M.I.A's collaboration with Timbaland on the final track.
I recommend that everyone should have a healthy dose of the lovely M.I.A!
And yes-that is the Pixies song "Where Is My Mind" for the chorus pf "20 Dollar"