Friday, August 3, 2007

Always Fresh

Big news today in the music business: This lady, or M.I.A. says that no one helped her get to where she is in the music business. She blames Pitchfork and the rest of the media for propogating myths about her career. Apparently, no one signed her to a record deal, the record company never secured her music a distribution deal, no one is managing her career, Diplo never got her on the map with those great remixes, and she never stopped the media from using her Militant Tamil Tiger father as a crutch to further her danger-girl appeal.

Don't get me wrong, I like her music. It was a fresh smack in the face, and she's got an amazing voice. The music on Arular is exactly as it has been described in the millions of reviews already in existence: Dense, angular, furious, caterwauling, explosive, etc can apply hundreds, almost thousands of adjectives to Arular, that's how indefinable it really is.

Critics hate this, an album that they can't fit into an already-birthed genre. They do one of three things:

1. Hate it, write it off, watch embarrassingly when 10 years later it emerges as a vastly under-appreciated influential masterpiece
2. Create a genre and feel really good about themselves (see:trip-hop)
3. Really like it and alienate the artist by liking it too much

The critics chose number three. Everyone dug into the album and wrote article after article about it and the fiery political banshee behind it. I can't find the quote, but M.I.A. at one point became confused as to why people wanted her to collaborate with other artists. She felt she didn't need any help, so to speak. In order to cleanse herself she promptly appeared on a Missy Elliot track. And just so we don't get any more confused about her artistic integrity, she sold her first single to VW (I think. It was one of those fucking car companies).

Whatevs, everyone needs to make some scrilla, but M.I.A. prides herself on deconstructing the machine of the music industry. Sorry M.I.A, but you're neck deep in the shit. Just wait until Scarlet Johannson records a cover album of your music.

As pointed out to me by The Cleverest One, M.I.A has a penchant for attracting the media with her polemic candor. In her recent outburst to the media, she complained about the media. She also made a valid point about the state of the music business in regards to women's rights.

"I just find it a bit upsetting and kind of insulting that I can't have any ideas on my own because I'm a female or that people from undeveloped countries can't have ideas of their own unless it's backed up by someone who's blond-haired and blue-eyed."

You'd have to be an idiot, or a music critic, to believe that she isn't the main impetus behind the sound and image. I believe that it is harder for women to have their singular vision of music reach the public without some dude being like, "Hey, how about we have Chad from Neptunes mix the drums on this track?" For every Kate Bush, there are a hundred Ashlee Simpsons.

And blonde hair and blue eyes signifies that you are part of the problem in the industry? She may be on to something here...

"Hi, we are the music industry. We will crush you with our minds.
Oh yeah, we also got M.I.A all of her cred. She has no talent.
We wrote her music, also, we will crush you with our minds."

M.I.A. has stumbled upon music's darkest secret. A town of Aryan children have run amok and taken over the industry. Beware all artists! Sacrifice your body and mind or prepare to be played like a sample of a Bhangra beat! Also, let us never forget the ultimate truth revealed by M.I.A.

The music industry killed Christopher Reeves.

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