"Interrogating American pop"

Mia_janette_beckman_cropped_2Those of you who know me know that I’m no fan of M.I.A.  I have Arular because there was so much buzz about it, I felt like it was one of those must-have albums of 2005.  Well, I didn’t get it then and I still don’t get it now.  So much so that when
someone requested it from my LaLa queue, I happily put it in the mail to them.  Now the album has a happy home.  But, just in case I am in a funny mood and I decide to listen to it, I’ve kept the digital files on my computer.

So, this won’t be a review of her new album or general excitement that she’s appearing at the Siren Festival this weekend.  Rather, it seems that time out of the country has given her some perspective on American pop music.  Take a look:

On "Hussel," a sort of answer song to Rick Ross’s Southern-rap hit "Hustlin’," she asks, "Why’s everybody got hustle on their mind?"

"When I was in Liberia, you get into the huts, and little kids are listening to that shit," she says. "And it’s cute to see them dancing to it, like, ‘Wow, yeah, the ‘Hustlin’ song, that’s so cool!’ And then it’s like, ‘Actually, it’s not fucking cool.’ You have to give them something else as well. If it’s about working or if you’re talking about money, then I don’t think that 99 percent of music should stress that. So at the time, I was just asking somebody that question. I don’t want to live like that

So, yeah, based on this, I’m open to hearing this new album.  And it might be worth my supporting since, as Voice writer Tom Breihan notes, it “fiercely challenges American pop”.

The more, the better, I say.

The full article is here.

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  • http://myspace.com/jsaal Jimmy Saal

    Man, I’m with you on that first M.I.A. CD. I bought it solely on the buzz and because it “sounded” like something I needed to hear. Once I got it, it was like…”what is this crap”! Maybe I’ll check out LaLa.com to see if there’s another person that might take it off my hands.