M.I.A. Calling Card
What is this artist's signature style?
M.I.A.'s calling card is a musical sensibility that combines a radical political vision with a hyper-catchy dance aesthetic. If The Clash represented "revolution rock," M.I.A. offers up progressive party music, songs to help earnest liberal intellectuals cut loose and get down.
Watch what happens in a club when a DJ starts spinning "Paper Planes." We can almost guarantee you'll see a bunch of hipster kids—most of them probably advocates of gun control and nonviolent social change in real life—gleefully singing, at the top of their lungs, about shooting people and taking their money. M.I.A.'s "Third World revolutionary" image makes her catchy little gangsta ditty socially acceptable to fans who might turn their noses up at the exact same lyrics if they came out of the mouths of more mainstream rappers like Lil Wayne or 50 Cent.
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