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]