M.I.A criticizes Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar in new interview
April 21, 2016 at 6:38 am
M.I.A is no stranger to controversy, but her newest comments have us giving an intense side eye.In an interview with England’s Evening Standard Magazine, the “Swagger Like Us” rapper spoke on this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show- and called out Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar for their lack of response to the Syrian refugee crisis. M.I.A, born Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, told Evening Standard that “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.”
As you can imagine, Twitter immediately jumped on this comment and started flooding her timeline with their two cents:
MIA all lives matter'd us on the not so low I see...— TOP GOY (@YungCostanza) April 21, 2016
MIA has a platform. I get it. She should leave other artists to use their platforms as they see fit. No one's around to give you free labor
— Finn deGrasse Tyson (@pfunk1130) April 21, 2016
MIA sat there, had a great chance to talk all about Syrian, Muslim and Pakistan lives but instead blames blacklivesmatter for not doing it— nae (@neyshajasme) April 21, 2016
M.I.A responded to criticism and tried to clarify her statements on Twitter, but the damage was already done.
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
The Anglo-Sri Lankan artist has made a successful career for herself using hip hop, rap, and electronic influences to push themes of immigration, colonialism and the growing refugee crisis to the forefront of pop culture. With videos like “Borders” and “Born Free”, M.I.A has a huge platform to invite discussion on these issues with her global fanbase. Similarly, black American artists like Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar use their influence to bring attention to the uniquely black issues facing their audiences. Although they are known for promoting issues close to them, it’s not their responsibility to go to bat for everyone -- especially given the pervasive anti-blackness present in other communities of color and their reluctance to come out in support of #BlackLivesMatter...or when critical artists' entire careers are based off of the culture of black people.
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