Pin It
mia paper planes meme

M.I.A.’s ‘Paper Planes’ is now a meme for what people really want

’All I wanna do is *gunshot* *gunshot* *cash register sound*... the bare minimum’

M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” is one of the biggest tracks of the century. A collaboration with the rapper’s then-boyfriend Diplo, it was released on her second album, Kala, in 2007, but only gained traction after featuring in the trailer for Seth Rogen’s Pineapple Express in February 2008. Since then, the song has become a classic; it’s been nominated for a Grammy, won a PRS award, and graced all kinds of top-10 lists ever since.

And what does cultural acclaim bring in 2018? It brings memes, obviously. Which is why M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” has been enjoying a small renaissance on Twitter, kicked off in a tweet by writer/voice-actor/animator Alex Hirsch:

Obviously, the appropriation of the original – which goes something like: “All I wanna do is *gunshot* *gunshot* *cash register sound* and take your money” – has spawned plenty of other versions from Twitter users, mostly with positive, heartwarming messages.

And some less positive – but let’s be honest, more realistic – ones.

On a related note, “Paper Planes” almost never saw the light of day. According to M.I.A., she had been in an argument with Diplo and thrown the hard drive the song was saved on at his head from a top-storey window. Luckily for us (and him) it missed and landed in the boot of a taxi, safe and sound. 

The trailer for the artist’s long-awaited documentary MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A, directed by Steven Loveridge, dropped last week. It traces the life of the Sri Lankan artist, using never-before-seen personal video footage taken over the past two decades. The doc chronicles her journey from a young refugee to an internationally recognised pop star. It’s due out September 21.