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ROCK OF ASIAN: “Paper Planes,” The Brentwood Remix

July 21st, 2010 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

A few weeks ago, after M.I.A. gave another heinously unlikable interview during the run-up to the release of her new album, this time to GQ, in which she said she lives in Brentwood because she can’t afford New York, I suggested she begin taking a different approach to her public overshares if she wanted to stop alienating her audience:

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.

And wouldn’t you know it? She did just that:

Yes, of course, the video isn’t real, but I kind of wish it were. She’s way more appealing when she’s owning her rock star lifestyle rather than disavowing it.

[via LA Times: Pop & Hiss: Investing in third world democracy and watching 'Ellen': M.I.A.'s suburban makeover]

Thanks, KT!

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The M.I.d.A.s. Touch

February 9th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

A few months ago, model/indie darling Agyness Deyn–who can pull off fug clothes–was photographed in a memorable Henry Holland dress that made her look as though she were on her way to entertain at a children’s birthday party before snorting rails with Boy George, having a colorful breakdown, and then checking herself into a mental institution.

Last night, a 9 months-pregnant M.I.A. performed at the Grammys with Jay-Z, Kanye, T.I., and Lil Wayne in the same dress. While some are hating on the garment–as though a model out on the town was still wearing it rather than an artist about to pop–I think it could quite possibly be the bitchin’est maternity dress I’ve ever seen.

Thanks, Jasmine!

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September 3rd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Surprise, surprise…M.I.A. is already contemplating coming out of retirement. Last week, the singer/rapper told Entertainment Weekly, “With the success of ‘Paper Planes,’ there’s pull for me to make another record. Even my Hardass Asian mum believes in me more…But I was planning my life as a fishing woman on the outskirts of Cambodia.”

Adding, “That’s a joke.”

Oh, Y.O.U. Such a K.I.D.D.E.R.

Thanks, Henri! Thanks, Jasmine!

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M.I.A. Disappears YouTube Video

August 14th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Okay, so singer M.I.A. is a terrorist?

Last week, Sri Lankan rapper DeLon released a YouTube video of him rhyming over M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” cut together with violent footage of suicide bombings and devastation wrought by the LTTE, aka the Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan secessionist organization recognized as a terrorist group by many countries, including the U.S. M.I.A.’s father, Arular (after whom her first album is named), is a Tamil militant and, apparently, she makes references to the Tamil Tigers’ struggle in some of her songs–a fact I’ve never noticed because I was too busy rockin’ to her beats.

M.I.A. denied DeLon’s claim that she supports terrorism, calling his video “self-promotion.” The video has since been taken down on YouTube, but you can you find here.

I have to admit that I know virtually nothing about Sri Lankan history, and it seems like M.I.A.’s references–in her lyrics and the imagery she uses on stage–are more hipster pastiche than political. That said, I generally think it’s wack how the images of revolutionaries get co-opted by Western cool kids who fancy themselves “edgy” but could give two shits about what those revolutionaries actually did. And, every time I see a picture of Mao on a throw pillow or a shrunken T-shirt, I do want to beat the person who bought that crap with a stick.

And what should we make of these adorable old people, acting out “Paper Planes” with their grandchillun? Are they supporters of terrorism, too?


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