Like many people, I imagine, I first heard M.I.A.’s single “Paper Planes” attached to the stoner-comedy Pineapple Express. I remember being so excited for that movie upon seeing the trailer and I think the song did a lot for the trailer. It was so cool that it probably even gave me unrealistic expectations for the film itself.
Regardless, M.I.A.’s breakthrough to pop culture stands alone strongly. It became a huge hit that stood out to the stoners it was initially branded towards along with everyone else. Seriously, everyone else loved this song. 2007 was the thick of a transition in pop culture to a desire for wild, colorful personalities and music. M.I.A. was one of those pioneers (even before “Paper Planes”, with her album Arular in ’05) and still remains a prominent figure today.
“Paper Planes” started a movement and remains the best example that’s been produced in my opinion. This badass-chick persona has been rehashed with Nicki Minaj and Kreayshawn among others, but M.I.A. is the only one that seems natural sporting the confidence yet seeming modest all at once. Because of M.I.A.’s awesome hit having one of the best beats of the decade, breaking the boundaries of genres, and solidifying this new role for women in pop music, I’ve always believed it is iconic.
If you make a time capsule of the 00’s, there’s no doubt in my mind that you have to stick this on a flash drive and remind those in the future what it was like to hear something like this for the first time. Easily, “Paper Planes” is one of the best songs ever.