Tag Archives: m.i.a


M.I.A’s Grammy performance with the ‘Rap Pack’

At the Grammy’s a few nights ago, a very pregnant M.I.A. performed.  In fact, it was actually her due date!

In the words of Queen Latifah, this was a hip hop ‘rap pack’.  Yes, that was a Latifah play on the ‘rat pack’ nickname.  Still, it’s not everyday you’ll see M.I.A, Jay-Z, Kanye, TI and Lil’ Wayne all perform together on the same track.

It seemed to be one of the biggest hip hop Grammy performances in recent memory, which is definitely a good thing.  Plus, it’s not really that bad.


Everyone and their mother covers M.I.A’s “Paper Planes”

Seriously, it’s a phenomena I didn’t even really see coming unti this post by SepiaMutiny.  All of a sudden I could see it everywhere.  Honestly, M.I.A’s supposedly social-commentary-laced track Paper Planes has been really getting a lot of attention lately.

First up there’s a Lil Wayne remix, which is just awful.

Then there’s Rihanna:

There’s even a bunch of acoustic versions released by no-name Youtube comedians. Here’s one such example:

Oh, and there’s more.

50 Cent’s remix is even less impressive than the ones above.  [Courtesy of 2DopeBoyz]

And for you indie kids out there, I haven’t forgotten about you.  Indie darlings Holy Fuck have also managed to record a little remix, and you can listen to that one here

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I’ll be the first to say that I do like this song a lot.  The original’s catchy, makes some interesting comments and really as a whole is not bad to listen to.  The gunshots and ka-chings are not really my style, but looking beyond that reveals a decent piece of music.  So I guess it’s no surprise everyone wants to try and cover her track.  Give ’em a listen and let us know what you think.


M.I.A gets dissed, but still wins

I’m just going to chime in on this for a minute, and probably make the situation worse than it already is.

Many of you are already quite familiar with M.I.A, the Sri Lankan-born emcee/crazy performer who’s garish style is already the stuff of legend.  Well, as you may also know, she’s been repeatedly accused of supporting the Tamil Tigers, an insurgent group in Sri Lanka responsible for some gruesome bombings and killing.

They’ve made the US Terrorist group list, and probably rightly so.  Although they are ‘fighting’ for their own soverign nation, they’ve really done quite a few horrible things (not to say that the Sri Lankan government hasn’t done some bad stuff of their own).  Be that as it may, I’m going to concentrate a bit on the hip hop side of this topic.

Now that M.I.A is rather famous, people have been coming out of the woodwork to make their name off her.  Most recently, that would be Delon, another (and frankly, much worse) Sri Lankan emcee that has just released a video and track dissing M.I.A and accusing her of supporting terrorism.

I’m going to quote rather broadly from the PItchfork article on this topic, just because I find it amusing:

“Lest you question the self-promotion claim, consider the following: The text beneath the video on the website of DeLon’s label, Ceylon Records, calls the rapper “‘The New Revolution’ in Hip-Hop” and heralds him as “An Emerging International Star” who “represents peace and unity in Sri Lanka.” A press release on the subject goes on to proclaim DeLon “the most recognizable Sri Lankan hip-hop artist after winning the ‘Best Rap Performance’ Award from Derana Music Television (equivalent to MTV in the U.S.).”

And check the tag beneath the video: “M.I.A. EXPOSED NAKED! (Attn: Gruesome Footage)”. That’s pretty much one secret Nigerian bank account short of a spam email subject line.

The same press release notes that DeLon is suing Universal Music Group, parent to M.I.A.’s U.S. label Interscope, for allegedly having his diss video removed from YouTube. A UMG rep was unable to confirm these claims.

And last but not least, let’s not overlook the fact that the Los Angeles-based DeLon’s flow is, well, kinda wack.”

Frankly, it’s all true.  He’s definitely a bit of an opportunist, and his flows are pretty lame.  That being said, there may be a tinge of truth to what he’s saying.  No matter what, it seems like the majority of people are still coming down on M.I.A’s side in this whole matter.  Either giving her the benefit of the doubt, or just too skeptical about the emergence of Delon right as M.I.A’s popularity peaks (partially thanks to that Pineapple Express trailer).  I guess you can all decide for yourselves.

[Source: Pitchfork, Sepia Mutiny]

Music Politics

4080Records Presents: M.I.A.

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.