Year: 2005

Just days before her debut album, Arular, dropped, M.I.A. graced the stage at a SXSW showcase in 2005. The buzz from her mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism which was laced with singles, “Lady Killa” and “Galang” had fans lined up much longer than they’d hoped to see the rapper perform in Austin, but all was forgiven once she hit the stage.

“Tonight the spotlight is on up-and-comer M.I.A, a Sri Lankan rapper who rhymes about partying and about her struggling homeland over drum-and-bass rhythms, and the punk-funk-disco collision of LCD Soundsystem,” said Elaine Heinzmanor, who reviewed the show for NPR.

After the release of Arular, M.I.A.’s spot in the music industry was solidified. The album received stellar reviews and her follow up album, Kala in 2007 was responsible for the infectious single, ”Paper Planes.” Shame on those who slept on Maya that week in Austin.