Nominated by Tom Bishop
‘Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well … live fast, die young, bad girls do it well.’
It’s the infectious and slightly scary hook from the brilliant Bad Girls, on Mantangi, the fourth album by British-Tamil rapper-songwriter-artist-director Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam.
Her voice is strangely cute, and she sounds a bit ‘London’, like a much more talented version of Lily Allen, with fangs. She’s much more successful than I realised (ok, I’d never heard of her – she’s facing a million-dollar lawsuit from the NFL for making a gesture in the half-time performance at the 2012 Super Bowl. Who knew? ) and probably among younger and hipper souls than me.
This is a great album, with its jumble of rap, world music, distortions, and very broken down middle eights. It’s energising and very, very danceable.
And don’t underestimate the power. M.I.A is sexy (Watch out! Parental Advisory Lyrics!) without being submissive. She’s in charge.