M.I.A. Discusses Black Lives Matter In New Interview

Update: M.I.A. clarifies her position via Twitter; DeRay McKesson and more respond.

April 21, 2016

In a new interview with London’s ES Magazine, M.I.A. has discussed her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the feature, journalist Richard Godwin raises the subject of Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl performance with M.I.A., who Godwin reports “didn’t see the performance, but doesn’t feel like she could have missed anything."

M.I.A. is then quoted as saying: "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 a tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama isn't going to hump you back.”

This morning, April 21, M.I.A. clarified her comments on Black Lives Matter in two Twitter posts:

Elsewhere in the ES Magazine feature, M.I.A. shares an update on her legal situation with French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, who filed a formal complaint against the artist in December 2015 for wearing a knock-off of their jersey in her “Borders” video, which was doctored to read 'Fly Pirates.’ “I haven’t heard anything since then,” the artist said. “It’s awesome. The support I got from my fans actually made them go away. I’m going to do that all the time now, ha-ha!”

The FADER has reached out to M.I.A. and the editor of ES Magazine for comment.

Update: 4/21/16, 10:00 a.m. EST.

In the wake of M.I.A.'s comments this morning, a number of folks have responded to her tweets, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson.

M.I.A. Discusses Black Lives Matter In New Interview