M.I.A is a bit hard to pin down. She’s not only a musician, but she’s an artist in general. She’s the daughter of a Tamil Tiger, and an outspoken activist. She’s both intelligent and extremely outgoing. Plus, her website may just give you a seizure.
Even her music is hard to describe. Some sort of odd fusion between hip hop-electro-funk-reggae-grime thing with a little splash of soca. It’s a combination that doesn’t always work (a bunch of her songs are…acquired tastes) but sometimes it just combines in a great great way.
One of the thing I find most fascinating about her is her constant outspokenness on political issues. She’s one who has constantly used whatever fame she has to advance her point of view. Now this isn’t always a good thing, and I sometimes find it annoying when artists do it, but I have to say I kind of respect it when it comes from such a different perspective. Being who she is, she comes with first-hand experience of ethnic conflict and is always trying to draw attention to the odd relationship between East/West and first world/developing countries. A lot of the lyrics she uses are pretty political too, but with her constant UK slang dripping in, it’s sometimes difficult to pick out.
It’s almost a little refreshing to see something that’s nearly constantly so different. Hell, even her clothes are…special.
So without further ado, here’s a video from M.I.A’s latest album, Kala. The song is called Paper Planes. Not necessarily her most political work, but one of the most popular off the new album. Her tracks are way different than a lot of the stuff we’ve been repping here at 4080, but consider it part of our commitment to push the envelope as much as we can. You could also keep investigating and see if you like some of her other stuff.