M.I.A. came up with the lyrics all at once one morning. She was living in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York at the time, which could be a rough area (name-checked by Billy Joel in "You May Be Right
": "I've been stranded in the combat zone, I walked through Bedford Stuy alone"). Speaking with Fader
magazine, M.I.A. said: "I was thinking about living there, waking up every morning - it's such an African neighborhood. I was going to get patties at my local and just thinking that really the worst thing that anyone can say is some s--t like: 'What I wanna do is come and get your money.' People don't really feel like immigrants or refugees contribute to culture in any way. That they're just leeches that suck from whatever. So in the song I say 'All I wanna do is [sound of gun shooting and reloading, cash register opening] and take your money.' I did it in sound effects. It's up to you how you want to interpret. America is so obsessed with money, I'm sure they'll get it."