Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Missing In Action

Posted by ccpadfield on November 14, 2016

Being a fan of M.I.A., I decided to read the article that dealt with her music and her political beliefs. I had a similar experience to the author when I first discovered M.I.A.’s music. I would play ‘Paper Planes’ on repeat in middle school while I rode home on the bus. I think I somewhat knew that the song had some political critique, but I didn’t really challenge myself to question or really even think deeply about it. It was just a really catchy song. Then in 8th grade I got really into exploring more music, especially listening to the albums of my favorite singles. The song ‘Paper Planes’ was featured on the album Kala. It took me a few times to really get into the music. I’d often have to play songs on repeat to begin to appreciate the music. Eventually I loved it. It was so weird and different. I bought Matangi as soon as it came out. I haven’t really gotten into AIM, admittedly. It sounds different from her other albums, but I might have to listen to it a few times, just as I did with Kala, and I can get back into her music.

I like that M.I.A. uses her musical talents politically. I also think that her sound makes it hard for people to like her music, though. She makes challenging songs, but maybe that way her audience will really have to listen and absorb the political messages. It’s upsetting that people have lost interest in M.I.A., but I hope she finds new opportunities to spread her political message.


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