If you ran into me 10 years ago, chances are high that I had just been/was currently/was about to start listening to M.I.A.'s debut album, Arular. I had never heard anything quite like it before. Beyond the catchy hooks and sick beats, the music was unapologetic in its revolutionary message and global attitude. To celebrate the anniversary of the album that thrust her into the spotlight, she sat down with Rolling Stone, and, in true M.I.A. fashion, did not hold back.
"It's basically a window onto a world where people wanted to put borders and close it and shut it down and were using old methods. We had Bush and Rupert Murdoch-ness that was dividing everybody and saying 'good and evil' and 'axis of evil' and 'these people are like that' and 'those people are like that.' Using very basic language to shut down boundaries. Arular was a really good look at the other kind of part of the world, full of people working against that."
On Diplo, her former boyfriend and collaborator:
"He basically just like sh*t on every good thing that was happening to me...if I was on a cover of a magazine he'll be like, 'What do you want to do, like be on the dentist waiting room table?'...When I got signed by Interscope, he literally smashed my hotel room and broke all the furniture because he was so angry I got picked up by a major label and it was the corniest thing in the world that could possibly happen.