Classic Albums: Arular by M.I.A.

Refugee education number one: B-an-an-a

So that’s how his album start, spelling out the word banana over thirty seconds. I wasn’t a refugee but I couldn’t never get that word when I was at school but no teacher spotted I was dyslexic, maybe that’s the wonders of growing up in a small country town in the middle of nowhere in Australia. Only now just getting the the English language but that’s most likely a bit iffy at times, right readers?

I’m on a bit of a row now so I will not stop now. I think this might be some kind-of record for myself in the most Classic Albums posts I’ve done in just one month, which is kind-of amazing really. Anyway tonight for Thursday’s post we stay in the U.K. but by go the way of Tamil northern Sri Lanka with only my second rap album to be included here in my CA posts after the American hard-core gangster rapper DMX. I do promise from now on to thrown in a rap album every month for a while to kind-of even it up a little bit more. Anyway that sounds about right for me with that late 90’s album last month and now it’s 2005’s Arular album.

Now M.I.A. or her real long name Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam is most likely known to American totally mainstream TV watching people for flipping the bird while performing with Madonna at a super bowl halftime show a few years back. She’s been labelled a terrorist too but forgotten all her bad press/media and just listen to this epic debut album. To me, like a lot of rapper’s first albums seem to be the most fully formed or just plain most challenging and exciting. M.I.A.‘s full on lyrics and beats, at times it feel like she attacking you thur your ears but in the greatest way possible.

I guess just like the last rap album I wrote about, they’re a product of their environment, some say it all glories violence. Say here the artwork is all AK-47‘s, Bombs, Tanks etc so no wonder she got called a Terrorist but her early years growing up before she was even a teenage was being displacement by the Sri Lankan Civil War and the whole family going into hiding from the Sri Lankan army because her father who was a Tamil Tigers but with no contact from him at that time and then finally ending up in London.

The very first single from the album was out in 2003, Galang released on indie vinyl with only 500 pressed then in 2004 she released Sunshowers single followed by a independently released mixtape called Piracy Funds Terrorism, I forgot it was named that. So then the much delayed debut album was finally out in early 2005. She toured Australia on the Big Day Out festival in 2006. Now Arular really is remembered as one of best mid-2000’s album ever.

Just a couple of days ago M.I.A. announced the first few acts for London’s Meltdown Festival. If you’ve not heard of it before it’s Southbank venues like Royal Albert Hall etc invite an artist curate their festival every year. M.I.A. first round of her selected artists is pretty great but off course it is.

That might be it again for today, OK? So who else dig Arular? Or do you dig one of the other four albums she got? Or never listen to her before? Please do, I triple dare you to do so!

Arular track listing and times:

1. Ba-na-na Skit – 0:36
2. Pull Up The People – 3:45
3. Bucky Done Gun – 3:47
4. Sunshowers – 3:15
5. Fire Fire – 3:28
6. Dash The Curry Skit – 0:40
7. Amazon – 4:16
8. Bingo – 3:12
9. Hombre – 4:02
10. One For The Head Skit – 0:29
11. 10 Dollar – 4:01
12. U.R.A.Q.T. – 2:55
13. Galang – 3:32
14. M.I.A. – 3:29

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All my Classic Albums posts are in that link or they’re all linked below too!

So the idea here is simply for me to write a post about each of my favourite albums that I consider total stone cold classics!

Please do leave a reply below and tell me what you think about this album and/or artist or whatever you’d like to say about it?

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