Despite its overwhelming critical praise, M.I.A.’s second album Kala landed nary a nomination, not even in the ambiguous Best Alternative Music Album category which has Lily Allen (?), Arcade Fire, Björk, The Shins, and The White Stripes in the running this year.
Interestingly enough, Timbaland is nominated as Producer of the Year for a batch of songs, including the track “Come Around” from...M.I.A.'s Kala.
Is M.I.A.—with her revolutionary family history, Cockney accent, and “Yeah, I got more records than the K.G.B.” lyrics—just too much for aging Recording Academy voters? Or is this an example of API artists’ overall lack of recognition from the Academy, major music labels, and all the industry folk in between?
Luckily, the Grammy awards are just the kind of event that M.I.A. would boycott anyway, nod or no nod, especially in light of being censored on broadcasts by MTV and The Late Show with David Letterman. Regardless, if the Academy's mission is to award musical excellence, then Kala shouldn’t be in missing in action from the nominations.