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Piracy Funds Terrorism

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Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1
Mixtape by M.I.A. and Diplo
Released December 2004 (2004-12)
Recorded Late 2004
Genre Mashup
Length 57:08
Label Self-released
Producer Diplo, M.I.A.
M.I.A. chronology
Galang EP
(2004) Galang EP2004
Piracy Funds Terrorism
(2004) Piracy Funds Terrorism2004
(2005) Arular2005
Diplo chronology
Favela on Blast
(2004) Favela on Blast2004
Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1
(2004) Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 12004
Favela Strikes Back
(2005) Favela Strikes Back2005

Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1, usually referred to simply as Piracy Funds Terrorism, is a mixtape produced by British recording artist M.I.A. and American DJ Diplo featuring vocal tracks intended for M.I.A.'s debut album Arular mashed up with samples of other recordings. The mixtape was produced by the two artists at Diplo's home studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was not officially released, but was distributed at M.I.A.'s live shows and via the internet to promote the release of her much-delayed debut album. Despite its unofficial status, the mixtape received general acclaim among critics. Several music publications included the mixtape in their listings of the best albums of 2004.


Recording sessions for Arular, the debut album by M.I.A., took place during 2003 and 2004, and the album was originally scheduled to be released in September 2004. Legal issues relating to the use of samples delayed this release, however, first to December and then into 2005.[1] During the recording process, M.I.A. met DJ Diplo, and expressed an interest in working with him on a track for the album. Although their initial recording sessions together proved fruitless, Diplo conceived the idea of using the existing vocal tracks recorded for the album to produce a mixtape which could be used to promote the delayed full-length album.[2] M.I.A. extended her stay in the United States and the two artists produced the mixtape at his home studio.[3]

Music and artwork[edit]

Diplo, who mixed the recording

The mixtape includes early mixes of the vocals intended for Arular, mashed up with samples of tracks including "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles, "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z and "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa.[4] Tunes by Baby, dead Prez, Missy Elliott, Ciara, LL Cool J and Cutty Ranks are also included.[5][6][7] Necessary legal clearance for the use of these samples was not obtained, with the result that the mixtape could not be sold in record shops and could only be distributed by word of mouth.[4] In addition to pop and hip hop, global music styles are included in the mix. The track "Galang" incorporates elements of reggaeton,[7] and three tracks consist of Brazilian baile funk.[6]

The cover features a photograph of M.I.A. wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "Complaints Department" placed above a picture of a hand grenade. Arranged around the title are a series of smaller pictures depicting dancers, rioters and riot police.[7] According to Diplo, the pressing was handled by a "little storefront-house" which specialises in producing mixtapes.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[8]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5[9]
Stylus Magazine B+[10]
The Village Voice A−[11]

An initial pressing of 1,000 copies of the mixtape was produced and given to M.I.A.'s record label. The label began sending the copies out as promotional recordings, prompting Diplo to ask for the remaining copies to be returned so that he could distribute them at shows and in clubs, which he felt was a more appropriate method of distribution for the mixtape. He stated that around 2,000 copies of the recording were produced in total.[2]

The mixtape received general acclaim among music critics, despite not being an official release. In a review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said he was more interested in hearing M.I.A.'s own original music than a mashup: "I find more fascination—and pleasure, if not variety—in M.I.A. juxtaposed against herself than in, for instance, favela funk juxtaposed against 'Walk Like an Egyptian'. Which isn't to deny I also find all these good things in favela funk juxtaposed against 'Walk Like an Egyptian'."[11] Rollie Pemberton from Stylus Magazine called Piracy Funds Terrorism "a genre-bending adventure in shattered preconceptions and club killing beats" and said that, based on the strength of the mixtape, M.I.A.'s first official album had a lot to live up to.[10] Village Voice critic Tom Breihan later expressed relief that M.I.A.'s aesthetic and her debut album did not have much input from Diplo.[12]

Piracy Funds Terrorism was voted the 23rd best album of 2004 in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published by The Village Voice.[13] Pitchfork Media ranked it at number 12 on their year-end albums list,[5] and later at number 103 on their decade-end list of top 200 albums from the 2000s.[14]

Track listing[edit]

The first pressing of Piracy Funds Terrorism had an incorrect track listing, which was fixed for the second pressing, the track listing for which is as follows:[15]

No. Title Samples Length
1. "Galangaton" (Diplo Mix)   2:02
2. "Galang" (featuring Lil Vicious) "What Happened to That Boy" by Birdman featuring Clipse, "The Glock" by Vicious 2:57
3. "Two Bit Rhythm" (M.I.A. Mix; LL Cool J/Cavemen)   2:39
4. "Fire Bam" (Diplo Mix) "Murder She Wrote" by Chaka Demus & Pliers 2:40
5. "Fire Fire" "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles 3:33
6. "One for the Head Skit" (M.I.A/Missy) "Pass That Dutch" by Missy Elliott 1:37
7. "Amazon" (Diplo Mix) "Goodies" by Ciara 3:32
8. "Definition of a Roller" (The Clipse)   3:14
9. "Untitled" (M.I.A./Cutty Ranks) "Drop it Like it's Hot" by Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell 3:23
10. "MIA"   3:10
11. "You're Good" (Diplo Mix)   3:04
12. "Pop" "Hip-Hop" by Dead Prez 2:35
13. "Sunshowers" (Diplo Mix) "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa 3:00
14. "Baile Funk One" "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna, "Aviãozinho" by Sandy & as Travessas 2:15
15. "Bucky Done Gun"   2:45
16. "Baile Funk Two" "When Doves Cry" by Prince 1:44
17. "China Girl" (Diplo Mix) "10 Dollar", "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics, "Bucky Done Gun" 2:08
18. "Baile Funk Three"   1:24
19. "Lady Killer" (Diplo Mix) "Tour de France" by Kraftwerk 3:22
20. "URAQT" (Diplo Mix) "Sanford and Son Theme (The Streetbeater)" by Quincy Jones 2:45
21. "Bingo" (Diplo Mix) "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z featuring UGK 3:19

For the third pressing, two tracks featuring beats created by Cavemen were replaced with new material due to legal issues.[2]


The only credits on the cover are as follows:[16]

  • Hollertronix/Wes Gully (Diplo) – executive production
  • Maya Arul (M.I.A.) – "executive mish mash"
  • Knox Robinson – worldwide A&R


  1. ^ "M.I.A. – Arular – Review – Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d Pytlik, Mark (4 April 2005). "Interview: Diplo". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  3. ^ Sylvester, Nick (29 November 2004). "Diplo Confirms Plans for Second M.I.A. Mixtape". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  4. ^ a b McKinnon, Matthew (3 March 2005). "Tigress Beat". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Pitchfork Staff (31 December 2004). "Top 50 Albums of 2004". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Booty Call". The Village Voice. 17 December 2004. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c Sylvester, Nick (22 November 2004). "M.I.A : Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 (mixed by Diplo)". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Sylvester, Nick (21 November 2004). "Diplo / M.I.A.: Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "M.I.A. - Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1". Sputnikmusic. Scroll down to Conrad Tao EMERITUS. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Pemberton, Rollie (9 December 2004). "M.I.A & Diplo : Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (22 March 2005). "Consumer Guide: DJ Kicks". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Breihan, Tom (11 July 2006). "The Friends of Diplo: A Report Card". The Village Voice. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Pazz & Jop 2004". The Village Voice. 2004. Archived from the original on 10 February 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  14. ^ Pitchfork staff (28 September 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200-151". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  15. ^ Track listing as per cover of Piracy Funds Terrorism
  16. ^ Credits as per the cover of Piracy Funds Terrorism

External links[edit]