Apparently M.I.A. still hasn’t seen Beyoncé’s groundbreaking performance of “Formation” at this year’s Super Bowl. But it wouldn’t matter if she had anyway, because she “doesn’t feel she could have missed anything.”
In a profile published in London’s Evening Standard today, M.I.A. addresses her legendary feud with the NFL: After performing her verse on “Give Me All Your Luvin'” during Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime performance, M.I.A. flipped the bird to the camera — resulting in a $16.6 million lawsuit from the NFL. Although both sides have since reached a settlement, the Sri Lankan still maintained that most performers would be afraid to “upset the status quo” on a platform as big as the Super Bowl Halftime Show, to which the interviewer responded by asking M.I.A. what she thought about Beyonce’s recent performance — where the singer “gave a Black Power salute to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
M.I.A. admitted that she hadn’t watched it, and then offered more of her thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter movement as a whole:
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.
As it is wont to do, the internet freaked out upon seeing M.I.A.’s quotes. To try to clarify her position slightly, M.I.A. took to Twitter earlier today: