Who’s M.I.A. from the Grammy Nod List?

January 16, 2008

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.


Sylvie Kim

contributing editor & blogger

Sylvie Kim is a contributing editor at Hyphen. She previously served as Hyphen's blog coeditor with erin Khue Ninh, film editor, and blog columnist.

She writes about gender, race, class and privilege in pop culture and media (fun fun fun!) at www.sylvie-kim.com and at SF Weekly's The Exhibitionist blog. Her work has also appeared on Racialicious and Salon.



some impressive quotes from M.I.A. here: http://www.tamilnation.org/diaspora/unitedkingdom/mia.htm
The Grammys suck anyway, I cant believe people watch that junk. Sylvie, one thing you have to understand is this. If M.I.A is a coinscious SRI LANKAN rapper then that explains why she is not receiving nods.Very few American conscious rappers can make in this commercial industry today. Common and Lupe Fiasco are the most notable at this time, but the 50 cents of the worlds and juvenile lyrics from artist such as soujah boy is what the industry push.
Ew, that Timbaland produced MIA song is the worst one on the album. I read about how she thought that her style just didn't jive that well with Timbaland's. Great post.
Just leave the Hip Hop were it belongs, now England! Whats next?
I agree with RELAX -- any sort of award that was given to Milli Vanilli isn't really worth much.
Dont take this the wrong way people, but whats with the obseession of going mainstream, ot trying to be mainstream.
My point wasn't I that I wish M.I.A. would suddenly become a Top 40 artist. My point is that I find it interesting that the Academy's mission is to award excellence, yet they made a glaring omission. It would be on par with them not actually awarding Lauryn Hill with all those Grammy's even though across the board everyone lauded her album.
Whate genre of music does she fall under? Who is her audience? Record sells and hype always account for something. The reason she may be omitted from the grammys is because outside of a small community no one knowa hwo she is.I would look at other awards besides the grammy. that is the fakest event on Earth.Id dhr big in the Desi community? and most of all does she have crossover appeal?basic elements dor the grammys