M.I.A. Does ‘Nylon’ Magazine

"I thought being different was a bad thing."

On Monday we got to see M.I.A. on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Complex magazine … today, we get to see her gracing the cover and pages of the June/July issue of Nylon magazine. Here is M.I.A.‘s Nylon coverphoto and some excerpts from her coverstory interview:

On her mistrust of Google:
“Anybody who is called the government is right. And anybody who isn’t called the government is not right… And you know, all governments are connected to Google, and all governments can shift their search engines so only what they want you to see comes up… I want kids to be aware of this digital circumstance… Everyone on the Internet is like, “Oh my God, come and join Facebook!” They’re all so optimistic… and really, everyone is fucking you up behind the screens. And I don’t like that. It makes it difficult for me to interact with my fans knowing that. Google and Facebook were developed by the CIA, and when you’re on there, you have to know that.”

On her film school interview:
“I said, ‘If you don’t accept me, you’re going to change my life completely, because I’m going to go outside and get on the bus and I’ll be a crackhead prostitute and go to jail. And three years from now, I’ll come out of jail and make the best film.”

On her teenage years in Los Angeles:
I was always going out to LA because my cousin lived there, and she knew all the Bloods and Crips. So I was hanging out with her, having crazy times, and then I’d come back and be like, ‘I hung out with Tupac last week!’ and nobody knew who he was!”

On her unique sound:
“I thought being different was a bad thing, but then I realized it was just different because it hadn’t been done before.”

On doing commercials:
“Coca Cola wanted me to be their face, so of course I said no, and then Pepsi came to me and I said no again. But eventually, one day, I’m going to lose the battle and just be like, ‘Fuck it,’ and say yes… But I want to be able to be like, ‘Yeah, I made a sacrifice, but at least I have about 10 other people behind me who are worth it and who are going to benefit from all that money.”

On Paper Planes:
“Everyone was like, ‘You need to edit [the gunshots] out. They said, ‘You need something that’s going to get on the radio.’”

M.I.A.‘s full interview can only be read in the print edition of Nylon but these excerpts give you a pretty good feel for what’s on M.I.A.‘s mind these days. After the jump, check out a few photos from M.I.A.‘s Nylon photospread — they are not to be missed …


IMHO, M.I.A. has fought the good fight long enough … I’m glad to see that she is now willing to do interviews with more diverse magazines in order to get her message across. While it’s possible for her to carry the flag of “musical anarchy” for the rest of her life, I think she can have more of an impact by embracing more traditional media. I’m not sure I’ll ever be totally cool with seeing her appear in Soda Pop commercials (I mean, it’s just not who she is) but I cannot fault her for wanting to expand. I guess we’ll see how far she takes this new openness as she continues to promote her new album /\/\/\Y/\ in the coming months.

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  1. Heather

    Is she kidding me with the Facebook was developed by the CIA comment?

  2. Ann

    She sounds like she’s off her rocker.

  3. theskinny

    It’s all true, the CIA also created Teddy Ruxpin. My Teddy Ruxpin once told me that my parents were pinko commies and that I needed to turn them over to the authorities.

  4. mimi

    i dont know about facebook being linked to the CIA.. but i do agree people need to be aware how much privacy is being lost over the internet. it is definitely a worry! she’s so badass though, and legitimately so.

  5. CHASE

    I think people, in general, fail to recognize the fact that the government is in our lives every single day, and we sometimes forget how MUCH influence and power they have over us. She’s not crazy for making that statement, because in some ways it is very true. The government is going to be more and more in our lives as time progresses, and we are slowly losing our rights, but a lot of us are unaware of it. Anyways, her dad works for the government too, so I’m sure she knows at least what she’s talking about to a certain extent with her politics. I hope her new album is good! : ) Also, where’s the part where she dissed Lady GaGa?

  6. Donoso

    Her flag of ‘musical anarchy’ was set at half mast the second that ‘paper planes’ was used to promote the main stream movie Pineapple Express. We get it M.I.A. you are hard core. Now STFU already.

  7. Faye

    Yes, she’s so hard-core and “different” and anti doing commercials with Coke and Pepsi that she’s engaged to the multi-billionaire Bronfman heir. Don’t get me wrong, she’s talented and I like her music, but it’s a bit absurd to be so proud of the fact that she turned down a soda commercial when she’s about to marry into billions.

  8. J

    If they didn’t create it – they sure as hell monitor it. The US are pretty effed up in that way. Thinking they own the world – do it all to keep their nation safe. Pfft if you weren’t the most horrible government or worlds most hated nation – you WOULDN’T have to.
    She does sound a little loony saying it all – something you would expect from Courtney Love. But it makes you think and question and in a way would make a lot of sense.

    I just think of the Simpsons Movie where Marge and the kids are on the train and mention them being on the run and a large office is listening in on people around the country. I wouldn’t put it past the yanks to do such a thing. A lot of things go unsaid and unnoticed for good reasons – but a lot of the time, its nice to know.

    I just like me some Maya

  9. Laura

    God, she is unbelievably pretentious. Next.

  10. Maggie

    Totally agreed Laura. I feel like working so hard to be “different” is the same as being like everyone else.

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