Monday, March 5, 2012


Forget the antics, and some of the stuff she's said in interviews.  M.I.A. has made some of the best music since the turn of the millennium.  You can never box her in: she's hip-hop, she's dance, and at least in spirit, she's punk rock. But she doesn't conform to the rules of any of those genres.

Her 2005 debut Arular knocked the music world on its ass.  The song "Galang" (co-written by her one-time roomate, Justine Frischmann, formerly of elastica) just sounded so different. 2007's Kala featured the Clash-sampling "Paper Planes" (itself sampled by Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West and Lil Wayne on their hit, "Swagga Like Us"). That album brought her to another level, especially after "Swagga" (and her memorable performance at the Grammys, while incredibly pregnant).

I thought 2010's Maya would bring her to the next level, especially because her song "XXXO" seemed like a huge hit (it wasn't). It probably should have been the first single, but instead she went with the Suicide-sampling "Born Free" (which had one of the heaviest videos you'll ever see).

I don't think her Super Bowl antics will ultimately help her out too much, but I for one am looking forward to her next album, and I hope that people can hear it with an open mind.

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