Pop music is full of charming young ladies who bore the socks off us, especially the overly sexualized divas circling the charts. That’s unfair to the talented and interesting female artists that ought to get more air time. We’re not sure what triggered the idea for the theme of this post (it was most likely some latest bit of garbage on a pop-chick that annoys us), but we thought of a couple of artists we rather like. There are several talented tough girls in pop music – Blondie, Joan Jett, Bif Naked, Lunachicks, Pink, and Gwen Stefani are just a few. Here are a couple we have enjoyed recently.
M.I.A (less known by her Tamil name: Mathangi Arulpragasam), is a London-based singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, painter, director, activist, and occasional bad-ass. Part of her early life was caught up in the tension and trauma of the Sri Lankan civil war, so she has some real chops on which to base her edginess. Given her eclectic life, it’s not a surprise that her music is also a mish-mash of sounds like hip-hop, dancehall, electronica, and alternative. At any rate, if you want more information on M.I.A, read up on Wikipedia and Allmusic.
Here’s one of her most famous songs. It’s catchy and reminds us a bit of Musical Youth‘s “Pass the Dutchie.” We love the chorus. Nice combo of gangsta cap popping + Pink Floydesque cash register sounds. Enjoy.
OK, she’s not really a toughie – at least not in a visual or musical sort of way – but lyrically we wonder if we should ever turn our backs on Lily Allen. So, when we were thinking the other day about edgy pop ladies, Lily Allen came to mind (as opposed to Madonna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Cristina Aguilera who are pretenders for sure). We thought it would be fun to play one of our Lily Allen favorites from Alright, Still. “LDN” (short for London) is a cheery sort of ska-ish song but the biting lyrics are true to form for this seemingly innocent but actually snarky and smug Cockney bird. What a joy she is.
Clever song, clever video. Here you go, love.
And since we’re on the general theme of pop chick toughies, why not include Farinaz?
Farinaz is an Iranian-born hip-hip artist. Currently residing in Netherlands, her music typifies the blending of various music and cultural styles that are becoming more and more the norm in today’s highly interconnected world macro-society. It would seem logical perhaps that a female Persian Rap ex-patriot would rail against the Ayatollahs and their repression of one of the region’s potentially great nations. Farinaz isn’t a political activist however. She sings about anything that has meaning to the typical struggles of women at her age and in her station in life. Farinaz apparently split with her previous management or partner or something and she used to have an official MySpace site but it appears to be down. If you want to know more about her, you’ll have to do your own Internet scoot. Give ear for a moment to one of her better known songs, “Be Nam Zan” (translated – “In the Name of Woman”).