M.I.A. isn’t exactly a household name at the moment, unless said household is a boho London flat stocked with twentysomething bloggers. But within that dubious community, she has been launched into rapid stardom since her debut single “Galang” de-butted. The daughter of a Sri Lankan rebel fighter, Maya Arulpragasam moved to Britain at the age of 10 and quickly became a celebrated child porn actress, starring in such classi^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W
Her sound sits pretty snugly amongst the current U.K. dancehall crowd, smooshing together hip hop, pop, dub, mub, and pib. It stands out mainly thanks to its edgy political edge, which edges up to the surface in the 8-bit ‘worldbeats’ and in lyrics about Southeast Asian sex tourism (“Ten Dollar”) and clashing civilizations (“Sunshowers”), among others.
The album as a whole could be accused of sameyness, but on the pus side (not a typo! POETIC LICENSE, MOTHERFUCKER! YOU CAN’T TOUCH ME!), there are no duffers in sight. The standout might be “Hombre”, with its soaring multitracked wordless vocal hook. Or it might be “Galang”, with its soaring multitracked wordless vocal hook. It isn’t “Ba-na-na Skit”, though. Skits don’t soar, they bore. I man, I should be a writer for anti-drug PSAs! I love tricking children!