the ghost robot -

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
  she blazed my blaze
Altanta, the reported "hip-hop capital of the world," is not Athens, where my mom taught graduate courses in forestry in the late seventies. I apologize to the citizens of both cities, and invite my friends to make funny.

So now that we've made that clear, the Spankrock M.I.A. global ghettotech jump off at the 40watt club was trilly trill. DJs Chris Rockwell and XXX Change were the opener openers. Dudes were a little ADD with the speed up soul, but they hit their stride when they played their own baltimore club tracks. Aparently one of them has a lady sov remix in the works, which is exciting, but not nearly as exciting as the fact that sov could sign with Def Jam and have a S.Carter remix. But I digress-our focus here is Athens last night, not the booth next year.

Hollertronix expatriot Spankrock took the stage next. This guy has great flow, unfuckwitable nerd chic, and some crazy and degranged songs. I'm intrigued, but I've got some questions about the lyrics. The beach boys sample is hot, but "put that pussy on me?" It's 2005- could you explain how this isn't unethically sexist, or at least say please? Building on the DangerDoom collabo, Adult Swim should bankroll as Spankrock cartoon, showing what happens when hipsters stop being nice, and start trying to get with video jawns.

M.I.A. has beats for weeks and stage presence for years. As great as she was this summer in Los Angeles, she's gotten much better. She doesn't work the crowd- she owns it. For an hour, it's dark, it's hot, and you're just an insignificant part of a sweaty, screaming, moving club full of human. She opened with the 16 from Bad Man, threw in her new remix of Joakim's "Nookie," and killed the bubba sparxx riddim. M.I.A.'s testy relationship with Diplo, and Diplo's dedicated relationship with his booking agent prevent Maya from having a full time deejay, but DJ Contra did a good job of filling in. Where did M.I.A. find Cherry? She drops it like it's thermonuclear and sings too!

Last semester, I tried to write a paper in the form of an SAT analogy, hard difficulty. Piracy Funds Terrorism is to hip-hop as London Calling is to rock and roll. Due to some personal reasons, I never finished the thing, but I stand by that grand, sweeping claim. Take another listen- she folds the world map, shipping the Bangles out to Afganistan, Timabaland to Somalia, and Brazillian kids to Akron. Thomas Friedman (Dance Remix): M.I.A. and Diplo wrote a graduate thesis on the effects of globalization, confronting first world materialism with third world danger. Petty Pablo may want Ciara's goodies, but the kidnappers in "Amazon" want to sell Maya into sexual slavery.

Note to 2005 best of the year list writers: don't believe the hype, or the hype backlash, or the reverse backlash. See her live, and tell me about it.

M.I.A. Thing- Carrasco
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