M.I.A. Coachella

M.I.A.’s big New York Times Magazine piece reveals a lot about the singer, and a lot of it isn’t good. Writer Lynn Hirschberg includes barbs both small and large in her 8,000 words on the artist. (Example: “’I kind of want to be an outsider,’ she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry.” Emphasis ours.) But neither the writer nor the Sri Lankan political experts that she calls in are as devastating to M.I.A.’s persona as M.I.A.’s ex-boyfriend and current musical partner Diplo, who comments on a variety of topics, from M.I.A.’s art-making and “whole terrorism gimmick,” to her fiance Ben Brewer (“Her boyfriend really hates me”). Though you might wonder if they’ll still work together after this article, Diplo seems to know he’s safe, if only because he’s useful: “Even if she hates my guts, she knows that we can do crazy stuff together. The sound on her records is unlike anyone else’s, and we all take that very seriously.” More great quotes from Diplo on M.I.A.:

On recording /\/\/\Y/\:

For me, making this record wasn’t easy. In the past, we were a team. But Maya wanted to show us how much she didn’t need us. In the end, Maya is postmodern: She can’t really make music or art that well, but she’s better than anyone at putting crazy ideas into motion. She knows how to manipulate, how to withhold, how to get what she wants.

On meeting M.I.A.:

I was D.J.ing at a club called Fabric, and when she walked in, I was playing ‘Galang.’ This was before she had a major record deal. She met me, and we started a relationship. Maya was into the whole terrorism gimmick at the time. It was all underground back then. In the beginning, she was trying to be different. She understood that no one was doing what she was doing.

On M.I.A.’s father, who wasn’t a Tamil Tiger, and isn’t missing in Sri Lanka:

Maya claims that she has not seen him in years. Diplo told me a different story. ’I met her dad in London with her,’ he said. ’He was very interested in sustainable living and was teaching in London. But he wasn’t a good father.’

UPDATE: M.I.A. just tweeted this:

917.834.3158 CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;)

… which is the cell phone number of NY Times writer Lynn Hirschberg. Her mailbox is full now. Very classy move.

[Photo by Amrit Singh]

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Comments (43)
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    • I was scared her publicist might! She was there to approve all the questions. Nerve-wracking stuff. A french fry would have been nice, we waited three hours for 15 m of interview time.

  4. ummm, piracy funds terrorism vol. 1, Paper Planes, KALA, et al. . MIA owes Diplo, if not her career, at least her cred

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  6. MIA is a poser, hypocrite, gimmick, who makes alot of noise to get attention

  7. MIA is such a two year old.

  8. this is clearly the first time in history someone hasn’t liked an article someone else wrote about them. grow the fuck up, MIA.

  9. I read the piece earlier and I thought Diplo’s comments were the most damning too. The writer’s input, as well as that of the political analyst, was hardly flattering either, but criticizing MIA’s political credibility (or lack thereof) is hardly anything new. What’s so brutal about Diplo’s comments is that they seem to hit her where it really hurts: her artistic credibility. This is someone who knows her very well basically calling her a manipulative liar, which I think is a hell of a lot worse than implying she’s a bit naive where global politics are concerned.

    No matter how unflattering the article may have been though, there’s zero defense for posting the writer’s phone number on Twitter, which was a disgustingly immature and thin-skinned move on Maya’s part. I’ve defended her a few times here and there in the past, but somehow I don’t think I’ll feel compelled to do that again anytime soon.

  10. I just hope this doesnt stop her from releasing those SLAY BELLZ TEEEEEEEEEEZ.

    Her website got me all excited about them.

  11. Anyone defending MIA at this juncture deserves a good spanking for being catty children with no sense of right or wrong. I seriously can’t believe she posted that number. What a fucking terrorist, I bet she’d make a great fascist dictator if she didn’t have the mind of a 12 year old.

  12. As she grows older, M.I.A. is getting more and more Ann Coulterish.

  13. Thanks for posting this Jessica, what a fascinating read. I’m kind of curious how reliable Diplo’s words are, since it definitely comes across like he could be a very bitter ex, though I do have my doubts about Maya as well. And she definitely just seems to be name-dropping Lady Gaga for attention at this point–that bit about the Telephone and Born Free videos was just completely random and full of BS.

    Also, Romain Gavras, total douche apparently, y/y? If I remember correctly, wasn’t a lot of the controversy about that video due to the gang members being all or mostly black? “Yes, stirring up racial tensions in a hollow bid for attention devoid of any substance was such fun, and such great publicity!” Ugh! And also, saying Madonna was a better pop star than Lady Gaga is because she was pretty–not valid criticism! For one thing, fuck this goddamn notion that someone should be attractive to make music. And for another thing, you know what, beauty isn’t objective! Yes, some people are thought of as “attractive” more often than others, but not everyone shares that opinion, and that doesn’t make it fact. The whole “Lady Gaga isn’t pretty, so ___” thing just annoys me (even though I’ve mainly heard people say that this somehow makes her transgressive, what?). I actually think she’s kind of pretty, so hey, looks like your argument just fell apart!

  14. M.I.A. = Female Kanye West

  15. Not cool M.I.A. Just because she called your new music video politically naive? I’d argue that there is truth to that statement. Also, you’re such an outsider who hangs out with people who say shit like: “Pop stars should be pretty.” That’s a conformist stand point if I ever heard one. I love her music, but I cannot dig the persona she’s showing the world right now. You know, people say Gaga is simple shock value but it feels like M.I.A. is doing the same thing. She desperately wants to be seen as “edgy” and “in your face” and she does that by talking about shit she really doesn’t fully understand. Don’t get me wrong, I think the girl is super talented and her music is (mostly) very original. I’m just done with this bitch-tude. Stop acting like an angsty teen.

  16. this is hilarious. so many fansheep didn’t want to listen to me years ago when i would point out that although M.I.A. is quite creative and has had some cool ideas for fashion and at times, music, she’s pretty phony and gimmicky. “She’s a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative”…yeah like being born and raised in London but milking some Sri Lankan conflict bullshit for years which now proves to be even more of a stretch than we had thought, marrying Seagrams heir and Warner Music Group CEO’s son Ben Bronfman (oh, I’m sorry- Ben BREWER because you want to hide that your a rich kid with built-in connections to the record insutry), etc. Once I heard that she was backing the recent Jock Jams-meets terrible production project known as sleigh Bells, it was game over.

    • <3 Diplo, <3 Sleigh Bells, <3 M.I.A., <3 Hirschberg

      The more I listen to Diplo and Major Lazer, the less original I feel M.I.A. is. Still like them both a lot. I am able to separate whatever M.I.A.'s political beliefs are from my enjoyment from her music. I've never been one to focus too closely on lyrics, but tweeting a phone number seems like a weak rebuttal to a critical article. Use your words Maya!

      • The more his clit swingers claim he’s original, the more ppl can see passed his bs. Oh, well it was either that are inbreeding for him, so I guess I can’t really hold it against him. M.I.A. just got 3000 more twitter followers over the last 2 days. Must have hurt him knowing she rules!

    • back @kris45, that’s pretty much the most accurate description of sleigh bells i’ve seen. kudos. i’m picturing dudes with emo hair cheerleading.

  17. from five rows of photos when you wrote
    of posed you, dressed blue, a backyard boat
    signed at the bottom with this quote:

  18. This article should be called MIA and What’s his face

  19. Additionally i’d like to point out that in the NYT article it says Ben Bronfman works at a firm that is gonna take Carbon Out of the Air….UM – That’s kind of the biggest shit ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. http://neetrecordings.com/blog/node/50

    In case anyone cares, MIA posted some of the audio from the interview showing at least some of the interview was intentionally taken out of context. Obviously not all and she still looks like a petty idiot for the phone thing, but this seems more like a case of someone setting out to write a hatchet piece about someone we all pretty much already knew was putting on an act.

  21. Diplo is a poser

  22. Someone needs to flashkick this bitch.

  23. Why are we still talking about M.I.A.? The Pineapple Express trailer is long gone and so its background music, “Paper Planes,” the only good song she ever made.

  24. Looks like I hit a nerve, bashing the hipster goddess.

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