M.I.A.'s helpers | Bleader

M.I.A.'s helpers

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Diplo and Switch, the two DJ-producers that always seem to get mentioned in any discussion of the British/Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A., both spin at Metro tonight. In an amazing Pitchfork interview this past August, Maya Arulpragasam excoriated tastemakers and the press for consistently short-selling her involvement in her own music while praising her collaborators:

"If you read the credits, [Diplo] sent me a loop for 'Bucky Done Gun,' and I made a song in London, and it became 'Bucky Done Gun.' But that was the only song he was actually involved in on Arular. So the whole time I've had immigration problems and not been able to get in the country, what I am or what I do has got a life of its own, and is becoming less and less to do with me. And 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. After the first time it's cool, the second time it's cool, but after like the third, fourth, fifth time, maybe it's an issue that we need to talk about, maybe that's something important, you know."

After spending a few hours revisiting Diplo's stuff, including The Boogie Down Bottle Nose Dolphins, a new set of his characteristic mashups as Hollertronix (with partner Low Budget), and some remixes and a mix CD by Switch (Dave Taylor)--who's much more involved than Diplo with M.I.A.'s brilliant new Kala (Interscope)--I can't fathom why anyone wouldn’t give Arulpragasam all the props in the world. While there’s no doubt  both of these guys are technically stunning and creative, there's no evidence of the things that are so great about M.I.A.'s record—the global array of beats, the wicked pitch-shifted shenai samples on "World Town"—in their solo work.

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