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Monday, December 17, 2007

M.I.A. - “Paper Planes”

posted by on December 17 at 8:00 AM

You know I love M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” (see my previous gushing and attempts at deconstruction). And this video, recently debuted on MTV, is pretty cute. But where are the gunshots?

Obviously, this is just something MTV does to videos (and radio does to songs), but damn. Those gunshots aren’t just rhythmic decoration or cartoon-violence rap boast, they’re key to the song’s meaning (rock’n’roll swindle as anti-colonial cash register liberation). Lame.

Update: M.I.A. has something to say about it (hat tip
Brooklyn Vegan
):

LOOK I KNOW THERE ARE HATERS OUT THERE, I DEAL WITH IT EVERYDAY THATS NO FUCKING BIG DEAL AND IVE DEALT WITH WORSE IN MY LIFE, A FEW PEOPLE TALKING SHIT DONT MATTER TO ME, BUT TWISTING TRUTH ISNT THE LESSON I WANNA LEARN IN MY TIME IN MUSIC, SO WHO EVER THAT IS DOING IT , I WANNA SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT

(More ALL-CAPS and “THE REAL AMERICAN VERSION WITH GUN SHOTS!” after the jump)

1, I ORIGINALLY WANTED TO SHOOT THE VIDEO IN A FACTORY ON THE BORDER OF EQUADOR, BUT COULDNT. I WAS TOURING THE U.S, I COULDA BEEN ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT THEN BUT THERE I WAS IN AMERICA, IN NYC, IN BROOKLYN, IN BEDSTUY , I WAS TORN BETWEEN SCRAPIN SHOWS IN AMERICA AND MEETING AMERICAN FANS OR SHOOTING IN NYC ON MY ONLY DAY OFF I’D HAD IN 4 MONTHS AND GETTING ON WITH IT.

2, SO THAT WAS THAT! I NEVER MADE A VIDEO IN AMERICA AND HEY ITS STILL A PART OF WHAT I DO AND SAY, ITS WAS STILL VALID, SO I WAS READY TO ROLL WITH IT.

3, YOU ALL KNOW HOW THE SONG SOUNDS, THATS WHY WHEN U GO ON YOUTUBE 400, 000 PEOPLE WOULD RATHER LISTEN THE SONG AS IT IS AND STARE AT SOME PICTURE THEN TO ACTUALLY WATCH A VIDEO

4, WHEN LETTERMAN CENSORD ME IT WAS WAC OF COURSE!!!!!! , AND YES I FELT SOOOOOO BAD FOR WHAT THEY DID TO MY SOUND. I WAS ABEL TO SOUND CHECK FOR THAT SHOW AND THEY LET ME SOUND CHECK FINE, THEN ON THE ACTUAL TAPING MY SOUND WAS SOOO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT ID AGREED, AS SOON AS I OPENED MY MOUTH THE DIFFERENCE BLEW ME AWAY, I FELT I WAS GETTING BULLIED ON NATIONAL TELEVISON, AND I COULDNT EVEN REACH OUT TO MY LABELS OR MY MANAGEMENT TO HELP, SINCE THEY ARE NEW TO WHAT HAPPENS TO AN ARTIST LIKE ME IN MAINSTEAM AMERICAN CULTURE.


SO THEY TRIED TO SHUT ME DOWN AGAIN. I MADE THE PAPER PLANES VIDEO. I MADE IT HOW THEY WANTED. NO VIOLENCE. AMBIGUOUS. MTV - FRIENDLY. NOW TODAY, I CHECK YOUTUBE AND SEE THE LEAKED MTV PAPER PLANES VIDEO UP FOR THE FIRST TIME. I CLICKED ON IT AND OUT COMES THIS FUCKED UP MESS WITH DOUBLE-TRACKED BULLSHIT MESS

WHO THE THE FUCK IS DOING THIS TO ME?????

THE VIDEO WAS SABOTAGED FOR WHATEVER REASON AND IM DISAPPOINTED THAT MTV HAS HAD SUCH A MAJOR ROLE IN THIS. THE BLOGGERS WHO ARE LAZY ENOUGH TO FOLLOW THE MTV LINK AND POST UP AND COMMENT ON THE SOUND WHEN THAT HASNT BEEN COMPROMISED AND THE GUNSHOT ARENT REPLACED AND EDITED MAKES ME SAD. I DID FIGHT FOR THE SOUND , BECAUSE PUTTING MEANINGS IN YOUR VIDEOS, IN MY OPINION IS A DYING ART. I CAN FILM MY SELF ANYWHERE ANYTIME AND LET YOU KNOW THE TRUTH , BUT THE SONG IS WHAT I WANTED TO PRESERVE IN THIS CASE.

TO ALL MY FANS, LOOK, ITS LIKE THIS,
IM LEARNING THINGS ABOUT THIS WORLD WITH YOU, I WANT YOU TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO ME , I WANT YOU TO SEE HOW PEOPLE WILL SIT AND SPEND ALL SUNDAY TEARIN ME DOWN FOR SOMETHING I DIDNT EVEN MAKE OR PUT OUT, SO PEOPLE WELCOME TO MODERN DAY PROPAGANDA MESSAGE MANGLING.

IN 2007, AN OUTSIDER OPINION WILL BE CONFRONTED THIS WAY , AND THIS IS HOW THE BATTLE GOES, MY MESSAGES AND IDEAS AND MEANING WILL ALWAYS BE BROUGHT TO YOU WITH SLIGHTLY TAINTED CHANNELS. IF YOU SUPPORT ME BE SMART, AND KNOW THAT.

I LOVE YOU, U KEEP ME GOING.
XXXXXX
MAYA

RSS icon Comments

1

dude, aside from what she wants the world to think, she is primarily from england. is an all caps / grammatically frustrating blog post really necessary? so your video was edited by mtv? i guess that is akin to the hardship of the third world.

i'm not saying anything about her music, but her 'world against me' shtick is equivalent to 2pac's 'thug life by way of digital underground backup dancer' shtick.

Posted by cosby | December 17, 2007 10:06 AM
2

Tupac was truly the rose that grew from concrete.

Posted by Eric Grandy | December 17, 2007 10:09 AM
3
Posted by m | December 17, 2007 12:07 PM
4

That version's been after the jump since I added the update, m. Try reading the whole post before commenting.

Posted by Eric Grandy | December 17, 2007 12:15 PM
5

Whatever the back-story, that is the worst video I've seen in a while.

It's literal to the point of patronizing, and M.I.A. looks like the camera's the last thing she wants to be with. And that's understandable.

The combination of the gunshots and the children's voices was the most unsettling bit of the original song.

If M.I.A. felt obliged to do it, she should've just gone with an audience-p.o.v. live video, which could've used footage taken all through the tour -- without interrupting her schedule -- and it would've been magical and impossible to mess up.

Posted by Fawkes | December 17, 2007 3:19 PM
6

I think that "Straight to Hell" could have been put to far better hiphop use.

Posted by tsm | December 17, 2007 6:09 PM
7

Am I alone on this, or do parts of this song remind people of the opening song for the PBS children's show Zoom? As in, 'all I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom [and take your money]'.

Posted by johnnie | December 17, 2007 6:32 PM
8

Fawkes @5 - Right.
And! I was hoping she was serving out of a taco truck. But ugh. Disappointing.

Posted by TripleX | December 17, 2007 6:43 PM

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