In 2008, the underground rapper M.I.A. officially ‘crossed over’ (a phrase with loaded meaning for an immigrant and child of political activists.) She brought her unique diy aesthetic into the mainstream and created one of the hits of the decade. If she turned out to be too weird for the mainstream, too outspoken politically, too unhappy with the boxes she was stuffed into as a woman and a person of color, too unique in her music and her style….well, good for her. The world doesn’t need another ‘fun’ pop star with a little flavor; M.I.A. is all flavor and it’s the kind of flavor you find in neighborhoods you’re afraid to go into because all the signs aren’t in English. She’s been offering a view into that world for over a decade – not always hitting the bullseye, but never not interesting. Her music is for everybody, but it’s not about everybody. That may be hard for some people, but that is what great artists do.