Release Date: Mar 22, 2005
Record label: Beggars Banquet / XL
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Dancehall
A cursory listen to Arular makes one wonder how it could generate so much heated, in-depth talk, as it did well before its official release. This is very direct and physical party music, with lots of slang-filled phrasings that might not have any more meaning than "The roof is on fire!" or "Dizzouble dizzutch!" to Americans. It's music that is conducive to dancing or doing other carefree things in the sunshine, rather than what you should hear most often through feeble computer speakers in dimly lit rooms.
For Maya Arulpragasam, guerrilla tactics aren't a trendy tag for a shambolic gig, they're a way of life. Having survived the upheaval of moving from Britain to the rebellion-torn Sri Lankan homeland of her father, a freedom fighter, she came back to the UK only to battle her way through life on a south London council estate. Like Vicky Pollard with a terrorist fixation, she throws images of bombs and murder in among tales of text messaging and adultery, spitting out threats like old chewing gum as she tries to make sense of the brutality of her two worlds.
By now, the word about M.I.A. has reached a fever pitch. Every major magazine has signed on for a feature, the blogosphere is aflame, industry insiders are agape and hot DJs from Miami to Seattle have been caning her beats for months. All that is left, it seems, is to sit back and watch if M.I.A ….