Music

Literally the Best Thing Ever: M.I.A.

Let me count the reasons.

Because M.I.A. will tweet “FUCK NEW YORK TIMES! DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO GO HERE ON VACATION!” and “HERE IS THE LUSH COASTLINE THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT” with a very disturbing and graphic photo of dead Tamil civilians in response to an article in their Travel section, “The 31 Places to Go in 2010,” where Sri Lanka was listed as one of the top tourist destinations a year after the long and bloody civil war ended. That was the first time I had seen a pop star publically criticize the tourism industry and point out that people who have the privilege to travel also have a responsibility to educate themselves, and she did it in a way that was emotional and unafraid.

Because nonwhite individuals are often expected to speak for entire groups of people, which leads to hand-wringing arguments about authenticity, about whether someone—who never asked to be the spokesperson for an entire group of people in the first place—has suffered enough to earn the right to be heard. M.I.A. understands that—she said in an interview with Tavis Smiley, “The more successful I’m getting, the direr the situation in Sri Lanka’s getting… It’s ironic that I’m the only Tamil [in the Western media], and I’ve turned into the only voice for the Tamil people.”

Because political activism is for everyone–flawed people, self-absorbed people, immature people, mature people, artists and philistines and intellectuals and sensualists and materialists. People who do good in the world are not saints, and it’s bullshit to believe that political activism is something only incredibly serious and morally upright people do—that kind of thinking not only makes it very unattractive to be politically active, but it also excuses the rest of us from any obligation to educate ourselves or take action. It elevates the notion of “political activism” to something reserved for the saintly, the extraordinarily gifted, the spectacularly selfless and devoted, like Martin Luther King or Gandhi, both of whom have been mythologized into angelic warriors, leaving the rest of us to think: Well, of course I can’t be expected to sacrifice on that level. M.I.A. is not an angelic warrior or a political pundit or an academic or an intellectual, but she cares about politics and she cares about having FUN and she makes a call to action fun to dance to. And seeing her publicly eviscerated for not having sophisticated or even consistent politics only makes me more determined to help create a space where young people who are just learning what their political beliefs are can do so without fear of being shamed.

Because M.I.A. isn’t always articulate or eloquent, and her moments of inarticulateness and ineloquence have given me the courage to not be so hard on my own moments of inarticulateness and ineloquence and to accept and love my bad teenage poetry and my attempts to speak and write about issues I was and am still learning about.

Because she is a brat and unapologetically so. When the journalist Lynn Hirschberg tried to make M.I.A. come off like a shallow, privileged provocateur who ate fancy truffle fries while talking about wanting to be an “outsider” in a New York Times Magazine profile, M.I.A. retaliated by tweeting Hirschberg’s cell phone number and posting an audio clip that she had secretly recorded of the interview, revealing that it was, in fact, Hirschberg who ordered the fries. This move was widely viewed as unethical and immature, but I ate it up. And when M.I.A. flipped America the middle finger at the Super Bowl, my heart beamed and soared like a shooting star. Because I’m all for antics; I’m all for juvenile gestures.

Because M.I.A. got me into London dubstep and grime and Jamaican dancehall and the funk carioca and baile funk that came from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Because her music makes patois cool and beautiful in a world where those who deviate from “standard” English are often (wrongfully) considered uneducated and ignorant. Because “Paper Planes” saved me in 2007 when I was living in Iowa City and dealing with some next-level racism. Because M.I.A. filmed the video for “Paper Planes” in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, where she lived for a year, where she once filmed an incidence of police brutality from her apartment window and posted it on YouTube. Because when she appeared on Letterman, they altered the sounds of gunshots in her song without telling her, and the look of utter WTF dismay on her face (at 1:16 in this very blurry video) when she realizes what’s happened is the most beautiful moment I have ever seen on The Late Show With David Letterman.

Because she refused to wear ugly maternity clothes when she was pregnant and instead wore THIS:

and THIS:

and performed “Swagga Like Us” with Jay-Z, Kanye, Lil Wayne, and T.I. at the Grammys ON HER DUE DATE, and was having contractions while looking like a gorgeous alien panda princess, and she was magnificent and magnetic and killed it.

Because her first mixtape, Piracy Funds Terrorism, is the only thing that can make me feel better in the dead of winter when it seems like daylight disappears an hour after I wake up. Because when she was first blowing up and people were attributing her success to the DJ/producer Diplo, a white dude from Philly who was going around taking credit for M.I.A.’s sound, she wasn’t afraid to stand up and be like, HEY I CREATED THIS AND YOU AREN’T GOING TO TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME. Because that happens to female artists, and especially female artists of color, ALL THE TIME. “I find it kind of insulting,” she told Pitchfork, “that I can’t have any ideas on my own because I’m a female, or that people from undeveloped countries can’t have ideas of their own unless it’s backed up by someone who’s blond-haired and blue-eyed.”

Because M.I.A. is literally the best thing ever to have happened to pop culture and pop music in my lifetime, and like Le Tigre said in their song “Hot Topic”: “Please don’t stop / I can’t live if you stop.” Because she’s the queen of my world. Because somewhere there is a T-shirt that says “If I can’t dance, then I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” and here in my little Brooklyn apartment, I’m dancing to M.I.A. and wanting all the rest of you to join me. ♦

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69 Comments

  • oli_kanda October 15th, 2012 3:32 PM

    i adore this woman so much it’s not even healthy anymore:)

    she is just… BEYOND awesome

    so thank you so much for this article!
    it’s really beautifully written, and i love the fact that you are trying to present political activism as a sort of thing thats not just reserved for one group of people, or that you have to be this one certain way to be an activist.

    Jenny i love you for writing this <3

  • Flower October 15th, 2012 3:39 PM

    This post is amazing. i don’t understand people who just listen to music, it should be something you care so much about and which means so much to you, like this <3

    http://www.bobblyrainbowsocks.blogspot.com

  • Anna F. October 15th, 2012 3:44 PM

    LET’S ALL SHARE OUR FAVOURITE M.I.A. SONGS.

    This is the first one I heard, when I was in tenth grade, and it still gives me shivers every time I listen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRYVcePrzNw

  • Samantha October 15th, 2012 3:46 PM

    I was literally trying to convince my boyfriend how awesome MIA was just yesterday. I have so much respect for her as both a musician and a person, I can’t wait to rub this article in his face.

  • ♡ reba ♡ October 15th, 2012 3:48 PM

    i always liked M.I.A. but this article made me realise that she’s not just an amazing artist, but an important person- which makes her music feel much much more important and amazing than it already did before i read this article. if that even makes any sense

  • GorillazFangirl October 15th, 2012 3:52 PM

    Gaaaah I love M.I.A. I was uber excited/couldn’t believe it when I saw this article was about her xD she’s shaped my character and made me proud to be me. This article was so good, focusing on her actual positive empowering presence in the world, glad other people view her like I do!

  • thelionheartedgirl October 15th, 2012 3:59 PM

    I LOVE M.I.A. She just makes me so happy whenever I listen to her.

    http://monologodeunarbol.blogspot.com/

  • Rose October 15th, 2012 4:02 PM

    JENNY, THIS RULES SO HARD

    • jenaimarley October 15th, 2012 4:23 PM

      Agree agree agree!
      I’m literally dancing to this article!

  • azultardis October 15th, 2012 4:04 PM

    gahh I love MIA so much, her lyrics and music, and her videos, she’s constantly questioning everything and making people question everything

  • Runaway October 15th, 2012 4:20 PM

    Oh my God, M.I.A.! I’ve been seriously in love with this woman since 2005. Thanks a lot for this piece. :)

  • raggedyanarchy October 15th, 2012 4:22 PM

    M.I.A. is great. I remember bus rides on field trips where my friends and I would just belt her music at the top of our lungs ’till the teachers would shush us and we’d just laugh. Ah, eighth grade.

  • ArianeMmmmm October 15th, 2012 4:26 PM

    I’m a bit older than the Rookie demographic but when I saw this article I had to read and comment.

    I’m an Asian female who immigrated to the U.S. as a child and grew up never seeing women like me: brown, punky, outspoken, and political. It wasn’t till college that I heard M.I.A., and as silly as it seems, I felt empowered about every facet of myself, so I got more politically involved and gained more confidence in myself. M.I.A. is my hero and I’m glad that brown teenage girls who feel unrepresented in the media sphere can find someone badass.

    Thank you for this article!

  • yael October 15th, 2012 4:45 PM

    Wanton activists like M.I.A do more harm than good by sponsoring bogus causes and terrorist groups. It seems amazing to me that the author would consider someone who joins the PLO an activist. You should know better, Rookie.

    One would have to be a moral contortionist in order to give credit or support causes like these.

    • ArianeMmmmm October 15th, 2012 5:14 PM

      PLO is no longer a terrorist group. They haven’t been for about 20 years (give or take). Israel, U.S., and the U.N. recognizes this, too.

      • Jenny October 15th, 2012 6:20 PM

        Here’s Amnesty International’s 2012 report on human rights in Sri Lanka: http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/sri-lanka/report-2012 And here is a Human Rights Watch report on the Sri Lankan government harassing and silencing independent journalists and media: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/03/sri-lanka-halt-harassment-media. It’s pretty grim. I don’t agree with you that wanting an end to the bloodshed and the killing/detaining/torturing/disappearing of Tamil civilians is a bogus cause. As for the PLO, I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not it’s a terrorist organization, but I would like to point out that nowhere in this article does it say M.I.A. supports the PLO.

    • Violet October 15th, 2012 5:57 PM

      Fighting for people’s right to life, identity and land – you call that a bogus cause?

      I give credit to such causes, and would rather call myself well-informed and trying hard to see the world from more than just the dominant, mass-media perspective.

      Thanks Jenny for this AMAZING article – timing is unbelievable, this week I was just watching every M.I.A. interview possible, she’s so brave and talented ! ! !

      Kudos,
      V.

  • wolnosc October 15th, 2012 4:54 PM

    I’m an artist and an activist. But I wish I could be less shy and more of an ACTivist.

    And also M. I. A. is awesome!

  • Indigoblue October 15th, 2012 5:09 PM

    Girl I know how you feel, I’m half Sri Lankan and half Scottish and everyone time I see a black woman on tv I am like yes you are more beautiful than you know!!

  • enthusiastictruckdriver October 15th, 2012 5:09 PM

    Not only M.I.A, but also this article, is literally the best thing ever. I have loved her since 6th grade and remain a faithful fan to this day, not only for her music, but also for her personality. I especially love the way you talk about political activism–I hate it when people automatically assume that just because I am not 18, or I like to paint my nails, or I listen to One Direction on Saturday night, I can’t have a valid opinion on politics or care about an important cause. I used to think that even mild evidence of selfishness or the concern for vapid trivialities immediately invalidated any traces philanthropy. Of course, that is not true–even the most selfless and philanthropic of people probably care about how they look or whether or not their nail polish matches their shoelaces.

  • Spotty October 15th, 2012 5:26 PM

    luv u MAYA!

  • fjords October 15th, 2012 5:32 PM

    Ahhh! I love her so much.

    Hopefully this article will mean even more people can discover her talent and intelligence.

    P.S Her VICKI LEEKX mixtape is the greatest, go listen!

  • AnaRuiz October 15th, 2012 5:44 PM

    Hi!! I created a Goodreads group for Rookie readers, especially to have like a “book club” specifically for the amazing books that are recommended on Goodreads. Another way to share with this lovely community of Rookie readers. You can find it at: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/81728-rookie-readers

    You’re all invited ;)

    anaruizwriting.blogspot.com

  • cac815 October 15th, 2012 5:48 PM

    I loved this article so much I just had to comment! I had listened to some of M.I.A.’s songs, but only when I watched the video for “Bad Girls” did I realize how awesome she was. I also love the part about political activism; just because I have strong opinions on certain issues doesn’t mean they consume my life or I can’t enjoy mindless entertainment and just have fun!

  • CeciliaCecilia October 15th, 2012 6:30 PM

    M.I.A is just…. WOW

    I LOVE HER SOSOSOSOSO MUCH!!!

  • lydiajamesxxx October 15th, 2012 7:03 PM

    While reading this paper planes came on the radio! haha coincidence :) I love her! This was a great article.

    tumbleweedandporcelain.blogspot.com

  • Chimdi October 15th, 2012 7:09 PM

    :) :) :)

  • llamalina October 15th, 2012 7:17 PM

    THIS. THIS ARTICLE. THIS. IS. PERFECT.

  • Tyknos93 October 15th, 2012 7:38 PM

    Time & Place: 6th grade, returning home from exhausting day at school. See dad at turntables nodding head along to one of his latest record store purchases.

    me: Dad what’d you buy?
    Dad: This album (picks up Arular) by some girl named MIA (pronounces it mee-ah) and several other insignificant albums.
    me: can I hear?

    **I nod my head along in silence, wondering what is even happening at the moment. Is it reggaeton, is she rapping? Now is she singing? bollywood samples!? Then Bucky Done Gun played…

    me:This is that girl from the video I saw! The one jumping fences and dancing all crazy.
    Dad: Oh really? It’s not my kind I thing…
    me: **thumbing through the INSANE album art** oh…can I have it?
    Dad: uhh no.
    me: *steals it anyway. It rests in my closest for the next three years being played at intense volumes whenever my parents are out*

    In 9th grade i saved up every article I could find on this woman and stuffed them in a shoebox while waiting in anticipation for her album, Kala. It was my first purchase with all of my Christmas money.

    I have never seen her in concert because I was too young/she didn’t come to my city/or it was too expensive. This fact plagues me every time I listen to her music or interviews.

    She’s just awesome and this post is so lame and all over the place, but GAH it’s so great you featured her!

    • sophiew October 15th, 2012 9:40 PM

      we were living parallel jr high m.i.a. obsessive lives !

    • Jenny October 15th, 2012 10:04 PM

      OMG, this is so cute! Especially the part where your dad pronounces M.I.A. mee-ah. I’m crying!

  • Hannah L October 15th, 2012 7:47 PM

    When I was in fourth grade, my dad bought an M.I.A cd on amazon because he heard good reviews of it, and I have been in love ever since.

    • Jenny October 15th, 2012 10:05 PM

      I LOVE that so many Rookies first heard of M.I.A. via their DADS!! COOL TEENZ HAVE COOL DADZ.

  • mmorsmordree October 15th, 2012 8:01 PM

    I was wondering if this was ever going to happen and It has! I always listen to M.I.A In the wintertime her and some other bands that remind me of the sweet warm summer. Loved this article. I hope someday we will get to see more and more brown people in the media. Not just music but in movies and tv shows.

  • sophiew October 15th, 2012 8:51 PM

    she was such a big part of my growing up, and sometimes i still salt and pepper my mango

  • caro nation October 15th, 2012 10:03 PM

    I IDOLIZED M.I.A. when I started middle school. She was not only my gateway drug to hip hop, but was the reason for my first encounter with racial discourse.

    Someone made a remark that my being white and enjoying overtly political hip hop was insulting to the artists, that my rapping along to “Paper Planes” was silly and I, as a white female teenager, could not possibly feel a connection to this beautiful and belligerent woman who utilized her talent as a means to express her beliefs because I was too dumb, too privileged, and too dismissive in my joyfully singing “Born Free” on the bus.
    “You just look stupid singing it because you don’t know what she’s talking about. She didn’t make that song for people like you.”

    OK NUMBER ONE this GUY was WHITE ALSO, one of those mall gangsters who claimed to have experienced the struggles of the ACTUAL students who came from rough neighborhoods and who experienced racism on a daily basis the minute he donned a bandana.
    NUMBER TWO he contradicted himself. He exercised sexism and just plain ignorance in his criticism, thinking that his sex and his adoption of commercialized “gangsta culture” granted him NOT ONLY the right to chastise me, but to CLAIM TO HAVE FACED THE ADVERSITY DESCRIBED BY POLITICAL RAPPERS SIMPLY BY LETTING HIS PANTS SAG
    What he didn’t realize was that M.I.A. was more than his patronizing denial of his own privilege. M.I.A. had struggled, and she was telling the world, calling us to action. By listening to M.I.A., I wasn’t trivializing her message by being white, I was furthering her cause. I was listening.
    Fin

    • Jenny October 16th, 2012 5:18 PM

      AMEN, GIRL! FIN FIN FIN.

  • Maya October 15th, 2012 10:30 PM

    M.I.A. is such an inspiration to me and really shaped who I am today. Looveee her

  • Whittier October 15th, 2012 11:29 PM

    Thanks for this! I really appreciate how well you’ve thought this out. I love MIA and this article articulates exactly why.

  • dearmia October 16th, 2012 12:08 AM

    When the video for Bad Girls came out, I was almost in tears. Seeing those bad ass bitches tear it up made me SO PROUD! <3 I love MIA

  • cicconeyouth October 16th, 2012 1:11 AM

    M.I.A. is a badass, through and through.

    She was the opener for Gwen Stefani’s first solo tour, which made me so excited. A lot of people didn’t “get” her and kept booing, but she kept on truckin’, was really great. Obviously didn’t care about the haters. SO COOL. She’s won my loyalty for life.

  • MichyMich October 16th, 2012 1:27 AM

    Jenny, thank you for writing about M.I.A. I am disappointed that the media likes to make M.I.A. out to be the type of person who likes to stir shit up for attention and I feel that she has been misunderstood. When I first heard her music, I didn’t get a single thing she was singing along until I Googled up the lyrics. Her lyrics are very political and I love how she is making music to promote her beliefs. The same thing goes on in her music videos. I just love how she’s very-thought provoking with her music – it leaves me thinking all the time.

    It’s not just her music I adore. It’s her fashion sense. I don’t know WHO in the world would wear a printed burqa (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/18/mia-burqa-scream-2010_n_766131.html#s159039) and I felt that it should’ve been mentioned in this article. Honestly, pop stars don’t need to dress so sexy or weird to get publicity – it just screams “try-hard”. It also makes me feel like it’s fake or forced upon. Only M.I.A. can pull off that burqa. Her fashion sense feels so real and I wish that I have the fashion sense to pull off unconventional silhouettes and all-over mixed prints.

    I would LOVE to meet M.I.A.

  • sarahisoverthere October 16th, 2012 2:08 AM

    LOVE this article! MIA is such a BAMF.

    I really feel for this entire article; I love finally seeing a WOC just doing her thing instead of having to be a perfect, white-washed poster child for the poor little minorities.

    This paragraph especially hit it home too:
    “Because I don’t think I was the only teenage girl or am the only adult woman who was and is afraid to speak out about my beliefs because people tell you that if you even try to do that, you’d better be prepared to spend all of your time fighting injustice and being the most educated, informed, serious person in the entire world, and you can NEVER EVER EVER care about superficial things. Because only people who are politically apathetic can get away with being superficial. We reward people for their political apathy or silence by not holding them up to the same impossibly high standards to which we hold people who might care about politics, even those who are just learning about them.”

    Thank you Jenny.

  • SpencerBowie October 16th, 2012 2:21 AM

    She is punk + every hop, (hip and otherwise), and she rules with art, intellect and wit. Her beats are amazing. Her style is too much and just right. She is 2007 to me.

    I’ve made friends because of ‘Kala’.

    She is M.I.A.

    She’s organic.

    <3

    P.S: You know rookie, it's not fair how y'all get in my mind like y'all do without a little warning first!!! ;) Kiss!

  • meels October 16th, 2012 3:17 AM

    Oh my gaaaad I love M.I.A!!! My sisters good friend is her cousin

  • Majel October 16th, 2012 5:32 AM

    This is the best “literally the best thing ever” article I’ve read so far.
    Thank you for making me more aware of her and thanks for your statements.
    I get the feeling a lot of people just se her as another popstar, if they don’t listen to the lyrics properly, which is apparently possible.

  • Tasya October 16th, 2012 8:06 AM

    YES. thank you for writing this article!! i’ve always loved MIA and after reading this i LOVE her even more. never realised how much of a freaking bamf she is!! go maya!!

  • gnarlyelixir October 16th, 2012 10:34 AM

    PERRRFFF POST. I remember seeing her perform live with jayz and knowing that she was perfoming on her FREAKING DUE DATE!!!!!!! OWOWOOWOWOWOWOWOWOW

  • Maggie October 16th, 2012 12:51 PM

    M.I.A. seems so smart and for real, and Jenny, I think the way your wrote about her was likewise smart and for real. I hope more girls are inspired by this than by whatever dumb stunt Madonna is sure to pull next.

    • Jenny October 16th, 2012 5:18 PM

      Haha, this made me laugh! I’ve never been interested in Madonna and her particular brand of antics, or ‘stunts’ as you so sweetly and grandfatherly put it! ♥ ❤

  • Ben October 17th, 2012 12:07 AM

    OMG! i love M.I.A!!!

  • joenjwang October 17th, 2012 2:02 AM

    PBS has content that features brown women in contexts outside of documentaries of poverty. Just in their defense (hee). I would have to say, PBS has a lot of content that features, fairly, real people in anything……………………….I just love PBS, yo. asdfasf

  • swaggyeb October 17th, 2012 2:11 PM

    ✰♀ I’M SO TOTALLY DANCING TO M.I.A ♀✰

  • Ree October 18th, 2012 1:45 PM

    I agree with every single thing in this article.
    MIA is a revolutionary.

  • FiveDimesForNineLives October 18th, 2012 8:22 PM

    I love M.I.A she has amazing style and performed pregnant on stage. She’s beast!

    http://five-dimes-for-9-lives.blogspot.com/

  • shiyana October 23rd, 2012 1:50 AM

    I do love M.I.A. for her beats and her activism through art/music. I do want to point out to everyone on here that isn’t as informed about the 30 year civil war that ended not too long ago in Sri Lanka that one thing I can’t stand M.I.A. and her fans for doing is simplifying such a complex civil war that has so many different levels that has not been examined by M.I.A.’s lyrics. None of her lyrics point out the fact that the LTTE mastered the suicide bomb (first to use women in suicide bombing missions, well-versed in training child soldiers, etc.) and are considered an internationally known terrorist group.
    Just pointing out that we can’t be so ready to get on board to everything these artists put out there, we need to question everything. I’m happy that she’s moving on to OTHER important issues in her newer albums though that deserve just as much attention.

  • Anita N. October 31st, 2012 8:57 PM

    Wonderfully, beautifully written, thank you so much. She’s an incredibly brave artist, and I think you’ve articulated the reasons why better than anyone else :)

  • Snow November 3rd, 2012 2:38 AM

    Jenny,

    You do realize that you basically describe your artist friends with a million positive signifiers (being irreverent, funny) while painting activists (and sociologists?) as militant, righteous and indignant people who read “constipated” books. I have a hard time believing you weren’t making a dig when you wrote this. I mean, how else can this be read?

    Artists: “…frivolous and wild and funny and irreverent…”

    Activists: “serious and angry… [like] reading boring, constipated, jargon-y academic books…”

    And you say you were friends with both groups?

    Makes me sad. I’m going to study Sociology next semester. I’m really passionate and happy about it. At least I was.

    • Jenny November 6th, 2012 6:26 AM

      Hey yeah, I see what you mean, but I’m actually criticizing both sets of stereotypes, not enforcing them. I’m saying there is no reason why you cannot be an activist who is frivolous and wild and irreverent, just as there’s no reason why you cannot be an artist who is serious and angry. The line that was drawn in the sand between “activist” and “artist” has always seemed like an artificial, imposed one to me. Does that make sense? It’s not a dig at activists, it’s a plea for people to realize that activism can and should and already does (e.g. in the case of M.I.A.’s activism) include imagination and other beautiful, wonderful, fun, joyful things. And please do get excited about studying sociology! I took a ton of sociology classes in college and loved them. <3

  • Jenny November 6th, 2012 6:26 AM

    Hey yeah, I see what you mean, but I’m actually criticizing both sets of stereotypes, not enforcing them. I’m saying there is no reason why you cannot be an activist who is frivolous and wild and irreverent, just as there’s no reason why you cannot be an artist who is serious and angry. The line that was drawn in the sand between “activist” and “artist” has always seemed like an artificial, imposed one to me. Does that make sense? It’s not a dig at activists, it’s a plea for people to realize that activism can and should and already does (e.g. in the case of M.I.A.’s activism) include imagination and other beautiful, wonderful, fun, joyful things. And please do get excited about studying sociology! I took a ton of sociology classes in college and loved them. <3

    • Jenny November 6th, 2012 6:27 AM

      gah! double reply! blerg

  • Jaitan November 16th, 2012 6:59 AM

    Hi Jenny! I just want to tell you how much this text inspired me. I am from Spain (so forgive my grammar mistakes) and right now we are not in our best moment, not only economically but socially. I know it’s not even close to the Tamil independence, but here in Catalonia we’re fighting really hard and the whole country (Catalonia and the rest of Spain) is living a huge police brutality only by going to a demonstration. But the thing is, I’ve listened to M.I.A. since I was a teenager and even though I tried to translate the lyrics they never had so much sense to me than now. And you just have summarized everything I feel when I listen to her while running away from the riot police. I guess we all have our own battles, and it is important to share with all the world what we stand for. That make us strong. Keep up the good job, and how Maya says: Fight on! :)

  • jackybella December 6th, 2012 4:51 PM

    Thanks for writing this article. To me the best thing about M.I.A. are that she is an incredible musician, as well as someone who is willing to (and smart enough to) speak up and say something about things that she is passionate about!

    Plus the ‘Bad Girls’ Music Video is one of the best I have seen in a long time.

  • ailiebae February 12th, 2013 12:20 AM

    OK THANKYOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so happy I found rookie because it basically sums up my life.
    I have plenty of good friends but no one really understands me because I’m just that weird indie girl.
    This article is so true!! M.I.A. is a brilliant artist. I own all of her albums including the remixes and her book.
    Her art, her story, and her music are beautiful and no one can top it.
    This article makes me so happy because now I knowthere are other teens like me that adore her as much as I do!!!!
    Thanksssssssssssss!! ;) ;)