Monday, November 05, 2007
Me In The Nation:: M.I.A. :: News From Nowhere

Where is my mind?


Need any more bandwith be spent on M.I.A.? Oh yeah, I definitely think so. So here I am, belatedly, writing in The Nation on the question of M.I.A..

A BIG apology to those whom I owe callbacks and emails. I am far far outside of the 48 right now, closer in mindstate and distance to this and this than to this. Like Beres Hammond says, keep holding on.

More on all the rest soon. So many things to say...

For now::


Children--brown-skinned children from Liberia, India, Jamaica and Baltimore, the post-hip-hop nationals of what M.I.A. calls World Town--climb all over the grooves of Kala. Their noise becomes part of the record's texture: they shriek in delight, laugh and dance; they kick rhymes; they cock guns. Not unlike the fourth season of HBO's hit The Wire, Kala explores poverty, violence and globalization through the eyes of children left behind. M.I.A.'s London refugee crew sling sugar water, bootleg CDs and color TVs to stay ahead of Border and Immigration, send remittances back to Asia or Africa and survive another day while their parents pray they become accountants. "Why has everyone got hustle on their mind?" she asks.

On the opener, "Bamboo Banga," a nod to Darkroom Productions' Baltimore street anthem "Bmore Banga," she sets up an image of a Hummer speeding across the desert with a quote from the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner": "Roadrunner roadrunner/Going hundred miles per hour/With your radio on." For Jonathan Richman, it was the sound of postwar innocence, Kerouac in love with the modern world and the open road. For M.I.A., it's the sound of Green Zone excess, First World abandonment, white flight on wheels. She roll-calls the planet of slums: Somalia, Angola, Ghana, India, Sri Lanka and Burma. "Now I'm sittin' down chillin' on some gunpowder/Strike match, light fire," she raps. "M.I.A. coming back with power power." Suddenly the setting isn't the desert; it's your country--a Lou Dobbs nightmare, the future sheathed in dark skin come home to your streets. "I'm a roadrunner," she sings. "I'm a world runner."



Read the whole thang...

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


posted by Zentronix @ 2:36 PM   5 comments links to this post

5 Comments:

At 11/5/07, 9:14 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Probably my favorite piece I've ever read on her, Jeff. Incredibly sharp and informed.

 
At 11/6/07, 2:24 PM, Anonymous Lori S. said...

This is just a lovely take on MIA, and a needed one too, thank you. I was ambivalent about both Arular and the response to it (the latter not her fault) -- but Kala has really impressed me, as have MIA's interviews about it.

 
At 11/9/07, 2:56 AM, Blogger dubmugga said...

Is she missing inaction ??? nah i don't think so...

...shotties cuz

nice piece...

 
At 11/10/07, 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a well-intentioned cd, but the music and her vocals do not cut it for me this time.

 
At 11/21/07, 1:56 PM, Blogger Bay Radical said...

I loved this article. I had heard a little MIA, liked it OK, but hadn't stayed to pay attention.

This piece will push me to give her a second listen.

Thanks so much.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

 

Previous posts
NY Times Paper Cuts : Living with Music :: Listen ...
Me and Mother Jones :: Hip-Hop Politics In A New E...
Foreign Policy :: It's A Hip-Hop World
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kool Herc & Clyde Stubblefiel...
The Disappearing Model of Color
From The Whoa! File on Supersurveillance :: Dragon...
Plug 2 :: Living Word + Litquake!
Join The Jena 6 National Walkout On Monday
The Hip-Hop Hearings Part 2 (2007 Version) :: Lisa...
Lost And Found :: Jena 6, Juncture, Keith Knight, ...


select * from pages where handle = "BlogLinks" #content#

Archives
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
 

Email list

Add me to the Can't Stop Won't Stop email list, an irregular update of what's new in our world:

Submit