M.I.A shocked as all with her gritty, violent, politically motivated video for lead single ‘Born Free’ from her upcoming new album, which was immediately banned by YouTube. The outspoken Brit is not one to shy away or mince her words when expressing her opinions. Last month she told NME about her dislike to comparisons with pop starlet Lady GaGa, saying the “Telephone” singer “models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna” and is a “good mimic” – she sure doesn’t hold back, does she?
The singer graces the cover of Complex Magazine’s June/July issue and gives her evaluation on the aftermath of Jay-Z and Nas’ legendary battle.
What do you like about hip-hop today?
M.I.A.: I think Kanye is trying to take it into a new realm and he’s sort of putting the artistry back into it and sort of taking it in that direction. I was having a conversation about Jay-Z and Nas and how it was really crazy how they were having this Nas vs. Jay-Z moment 10 years ago and no one really talks about it now.
You clearly haven’t been to complex.com!
M.I.A.: Jay became the biggest representation of rap music who’s still alive, started dating Beyoncé—everything was so much bigger and better with Jay-Z. I hope people don’t think that wins. The fact that Nas didn’t become all this sort of stuff changes people’s perception about the music and the work he achieved in his lifetime. I don’t wanna say Jay-Z sold out, but I just feel like we have to wait another 10 years to see what happens. Jay-Z’s ambition was to become like Frank Sinatra, a household name all over the planet, and own a casino in Vegas and stuff like that. And I think Nas was really sticking to knowledge. I still think the biggest point about hip-hop is in there somewhere, what happens to those two artists.
I’ve got so much respect for M.I.A as an artist. She totally rocks.