Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Your Playlist: M.I.A.

If you only know Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam -aka- M.I.A. from her 2012 Super Bowl performance where she infamously extended her middle finger to the camera, you're missing out. M.I.A. is the daughter of a Tamil activist who spent her early years hiding from the Sri Lankan army and, ultimately, ended up a refugee in London. Her music makes a great accompaniment to immigration law.

She co-wrote the hit single Paper Planes after being denied a visa to the United States - news KJ reported back in 2006. Check out this interview with M.I.A. in which she discusses her song:

It’s about people driving cabs all day and living in a s—ty apartment and appearing really threatening to society. But not being so. Because, by the time you’ve finished working a 20-hour shift, you’re so tired you [just] want to get home to the family. I don’t think immigrants are that threatening to society at all. They’re just happy they’ve survived some war somewhere.


Clever listeners will realize that Paper Planes samples from The Clash's 1982 "Straight to Hell," another immigration anthem.

M.I.A. has even written a song about marriage fraud: 10 Dollar (click here for lyrics, which include "Need a visa? got with a geezer").



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