Every week, Rich Terfry looks back in our Rear-view Mirror at a great song from the good ol’ days. This week, M.I.A. and "Paper Planes."
In the mid-2000s, the U.S. government was making M.I.A.'s life very difficult. What she didn't know at the time was that they were actually doing her career a big favor.
English recording artist M.I.A. is the daughter of a man who was a known political dissident in India. She was raised knowing poverty, conflict, racism, violence and displacement. The hard lessons of her early life forged in her a political and out-spoken nature. So when she began making music, it was natural that her politics were expressed in her lyrics.
After the release of her debut album in 2005, she was refused a work visa to record her second album in the U.S. She also appeared on the U.S. Homeland Security Risk List in 2006. This gave M.I.A. a lot to think about and she wrote a song about it. She poured her anger and frustration into a song called "Paper Planes," which was released in 2007.
The song became an instant smash hit and received universal critical acclaim. M.I.A. and her hit song also became the subject of controversy and her story took the media by storm. This only helped record sales and the song's message of the perceived threat of an immigrant getting rich became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Listen to the audio version of Rear-View Mirror by hitting the PLAY button to the left.
Here's the song that became the story in pop culture and beyond in 2007 - this is "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.
Here are some other great editions of Rear-view Mirror:
The Animals "We Gotta Get Out of this Place"
Dusty Springfield "Son of a Preacher Man"
Screamin' Jay Hawkins "I Put A Spell On You"
Cheap Trick "Surrender"
Mott The Hoople "All the Young Dudes"
Beach Boys "Sloop John B"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"
New York Dolls "Personality Crisis"
Modern Lovers "Roadrunner"
George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today"
Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA"
The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Rolling Stones 'Miss You'
The Coasters 'Run Red Run'
Elvis Costello, 'Alison'
James Brown, 'Hot (I Need to be loved loved loved)'
Inner Circle, 'Tenement Yard'
Ray Charles, 'I Don't Need No Doctor'
Curtis Mayfield, 'Freddy's Dead'
Gang Starr, 'Beyond Comprehension'
Bo Diddley, 'Bo Diddley'
Aretha Franklin, 'Rocksteady'
CCR, 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain'
Howlin' Wolf, 'Smokestack Lightning'
Bobby Womack, 'Across 110th Street'
Roy Orbison, 'In Dreams'
Foggy Hogtown Boys, 'Man of Constant Sorrow'
Pink Floyd, 'Wish You Were Here'
Neil Young, 'Cortez The Killer'
Bob Dylan, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'
Little Eva, 'Loco-Motion'
Elvis Costello, 'Watching the Detectives'
Jimmy Cliff, 'The Harder They Come'
The Verve, 'Bittersweet Symphony'
Roberta Flack, 'Killing Me Softly with his Song'
R.E.M., 'Radio Free Europe'
Radiohead, 'No Surprises'
Led Zeppelin, 'Ramble On'
Glen Campbell, 'Wichita Lineman'
Rolling Stones, 'Beast of Burden'
John Cougar Mellencamp, 'Pink Houses'
on Dec 05, 2012