Politics FB

The Friday Politics Thread Flies Paper Planes

I’m trying over the next few weeks to find a fun header style for my Friday Politics Thread. To that end, if you have any ideas please let me know! This week I want to talk about one of my favorite political songs of all time! M.I.A.’s 2008 classic Paper Planes!

*bang bang ka-ching!*

This song by the Sri Lankan artist is all about the hardships and discrimination refugees and immigrants face daily. More specifically it’s about hardships she faced with her Visa and the US Immigration System (one that deemed her a potential threat for racist reasons.) Despite the depressing subject matter, Paper Planes is a raucously funny song. MIA in the song plays a character an Immigrant Woman who is pretty much every exaggerated negative idea about Immigrants played in the braggadocious manner of Bragging hype up rap music. Take for example the opening line: “I fly like paper, get high like planes If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name If you come around here, I make ’em all day I get one done in a second if you wait”

Sonically the music takes a base of a killer sample of The Clash song Straight To Hell (another song I might write about) loud in-your-face sound effects, and MIA’s unique voice to create a song that is an instant earworm and irresistible to sing along to!

This song would be MIA’s big breakthrough hit peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 19 on the UK Charts. I first discovered it on the Pineapple Express soundtrack personally.