ROCK OF ASIAN: Less Talking, More Rocking, M.I.A.

June 24th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Dear M.I.A.,

I know you’ve got a forthcoming album to promote, so you’re going to have to give a gajillion interviews loaded with controversial statements, so that blogs will have something to write about, so that Twitter will get a new trending topic, so that you’ll generate more buzz, so that the wheels will get greased, so that the whole machine behind making you a pop star will get cranking, but I’m going to need you to stop talking for a while, okay?

Because every time I read another interview with you, I like you less and less. And I like you a lot. And I’d like it to stay that way. But it’s kind of impossible when you say things like you’re living in Brentwood because you can’t afford New York. Not that I’m not curious about why you’re living in Brentwood. But, as HuffPo pointed out, real estate there goes for $636 a square foot. You know what would be revolutionary and guerrilla-style? If you said something like, “I’m a mom now, and Brentwood’s safe” or “I’m rich now, where do you want me to live?” or “I like how unchallenging Brentwood is, I don’t have to be cool here” or even something hilariously bourgie like, “I picked Brentwood because I fell in love with this particular house.” You want to get heads spinning? Tell me you’re a Westside–and, uh, I don’t mean in the 2PAC sense–soccer mom. But tell me you’re living in Brentwood because you can’t afford other places, and I want to punch you, as Diana would say, in the neckmeat.

You’re an artist and a storyteller, and we love it when you embellish the truth–as the GQ profile I’m talking about points out you often do–but we don’t like it when you’re dishonest, not so much in the factual sense, but in the emotional sense. So the only solution for this that I can really see is less talking, more rocking my face off. Because when you’re rocking my face off, you are the real real, and I love you for it.

And while we’re on that subject, I think you’re 1 for 3 so far on the new album. Love XXXO, especially the remix with Jay-Z, hate Born Free and Steppin Up. The latter two tracks make me feel like I’m stuck in mud up to my knees, on some kind of horrible date-rape drug that may or may not make me acccidentally shit my pants.

Not that I’m a music critic, I’m just a fan. For now.

Ever tenuously yours,


[GQ: She Might Get Loud]

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5 Responses to “ROCK OF ASIAN: Less Talking, More Rocking, M.I.A.”

  1. KHJ says:

    The Hirschberg piece was rather harsh in its dry way.

    It seems rather conventional to criticize an artist for her lack of will to persist from the beginning as she was. Her conception and opining of the politics of the world are no different from others; premature and naive. It’s all about the relation of power; from the critic to the subject, and from the patrician to the plebian. How the media shapes something – just like the wars and poverty she sings about in framing the issues.

  2. nohe812 says:

    Ok, I don’t feel so bad not liking her outside of the studio, too. Phew.

  3. Lauren says:

    YES! thanks for putting my thoughts into such eloquent prose jen. more rocking my face off!

  4. Jen says:

    @KHJ It’s interesting that you say that, because the person who’s persisting the most from the beginning as she was, as you say, IS M.I.A. Every interview she gives seems to contain some version of her own telling of her origin story, of why she’s a rebel, why she’s a revolutionary. It’s there in the GQ profile too. I’m actually more interested in where she’s at now, but she seems to not want to go there for fear of coming across as a fraud, which only makes her, ironically, come across as a fraud.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jasmine Davila and heather park, jasminedavila. jasminedavila said: RT @disgrasian ROCK OF ASIAN: Less Talking, More Rocking, M.I.A. [...]

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