LEGACY/THE SONG ITSELF:
DUH, you know this song. When I dug through my brain for some of my favorite songs in recent memory, I thought about the best live shows I've been to. I saw M.I.A. in concert back in May of 2008 in Chicago, and seriously haven't seen a better show since. She had about 100 people on stage with her at one point, and it was honestly difficult to recognize or pinpoint the real M.I.A., but the presentation and energy were beyond exhilirating.
That being said, I don't know if there's a song this past decade that I've listened to more than "Paper Planes", or that I've liked more than "Paper Planes". My best friends and I used to drink and dance to it pretty much every weekend for 6 months, THEN it decided to become a fluke hit on the back of the new Judd Apatow movie trailer "The Pineapple Express". The song was a blockbuster, eventually peaking at #4 on the Hot 100, transforming her from blogger and indie circle's idol to international star. It's M.I.A.'s signature world music influence with a rhythm that has swagger for miles.
I never really paid attention to the lyrics until the song was used in "Slumdog Millionaire", The song's political lyrics are every bit as current and essential as the mesmerizing beat. Since, she's grown a horrible ego and released a sub-par 3rd album... I guess everyone deals with fame differently. It would be such a shame if this song were her peak.