Since the early stages of her career, M.I.A. never had an issue with speaking about controversial topics, especially when it comes to politics and race. In an interview with London's Evening Standard, the U.K. rapper weighs in on the Black Lives Matter movement.
"It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. It’s not a new thing to me—it’s what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question. And you cannot ask it on a song that’s on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV programme, you cannot create that tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama is not going to hump you back."
The artist also touches on her lawsuit with French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, if her relationships affected her music and advice that Kanye West gave her 10 years ago:
"He said: 'Whatever you do, don’t date people, don’t get pregnant, don’t fall in love. Love is like cancer.' At the time, I thought he was so wrong. I said: 'It’s terrible you think like that!' But now I think he was right."
M.I.A. revealing that she never thought she'd make it out of Sri Lanka alive is another highlight:
“I feel like I should have died a long time ago. I’m surprised I’m still alive, to be honest. I came from war. When I was growing up I didn’t really think I’d live beyond about 25...I never thought I would be old enough to drive or have a house or raise a child. Having to do it is really difficult.”
After the magazine interview was released, M.I.A. cleared up her initial statement in regards to Beyoncé, which caused some stir on Twitter. View the reaction tweets below:
A#blacklivesmatter B#Muslimlivesmatter. I'm not Muslim . My criticism wasn't about Beyoncé. It's how u can say A not B right now in 2016.— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) April 21, 2016
My question was,on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016. This has been the number 1 question for me.— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) April 21, 2016
There's MORE than enough room on the front lines sis @MIAuniverse ..— the [ghetto] oprah (@seattlejawn) April 21, 2016
Does MIA know she herself is famous and has a broad platform to advance her own humanitarian priorities?— Brienne of Snarth (@femme_esq) April 21, 2016
Also, why does a non-American feel she should set priorities for American Black people dealing with American racism?— Brienne of Snarth (@femme_esq) April 21, 2016
MIA really has no clue. America didn't "allow" black folks to talk about anything. Aug 9, local news barely even cared about Mike Brown.— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) April 21, 2016
MIA showed her hand by letting us know she sees being black and being Muslim as two different things. She should check that.— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) April 21, 2016
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