M.I.A. is no stranger to making political statements, and has done everything from tangle with the NFL to take the NYPD to task during its Sean Bell investigations. Today she’s done just that once again, in an interview with ES magazine, where the “Paper Planes” rapper appears to question the political fairness of movements like #BlackLivesMatter, and the efforts of those that support it, namely Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar, both of whom have made significant political statements on lofty stages, from Kendrick’s shackled GRAMMYs performance, to Beyonce’s Black Panther performance of “Formation.”

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Taken from ES mag:

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 onan American TV programme, you cannot create that tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama is not going to hump you back.


What, on the surface, might seem like M.I.A. accusing Kendrick and Bey of feigning public advocation of certain activist movements, is more a criticism of American media, according to M.I.A. herself, who feels platforms in the states don’t do enough to elevate the awareness of other underrepresented and acknowledged groups and nationalities, like Muslims or Pakistanis.

The latter of her tweets suggests that mainstream media has an agenda as far as what’s allowed to be spread to the masses. It’s a sentiment held by many, and one that could prompt popular media to collectively have a moment of self-reflection. Is there a chance that more exclusion is an inadvertent byproduct of pushing for inclusion?