The Essential Legacy of M.I.A.

Her Brownness was palatable to the industry and their persistent search for a fresh eclectic star — but her politics were not.

M.I.A. at a 2014 concert in Paris. (Coup d'Oreille/Flickr)

Meher Manda


July 14, 2020


14 min

As the world was beginning to grapple with the seriousness of COVID-19 in March — rapper M.I.A. took to Twitter to issue a strong diktat against vaccinations. “If I have to choose the vaccine or chip [sic],” she

View post on X
, “I’m gonna choose death.”

To come out as an anti-vaxxer is a questionable choice at any moment, but is particularly misguided at a time when the healthcare system is under duress. M.I.A. later

View post on X
, “I’m not against vaccines. I’m against companies who care more for profit then [sic] humans. I care for better track record that proves this. I care that African countries are not always the testing ground. I don’t want it coming from banks / tech / hedge fund sector and I want a choice.”

Backlash against the musician began pouring in almost immediately. She was called “irresponsible and reckless” for erroneously linking 5G technology to the coronavirus outbreak. M.I.A. hit out at her detractors,

View post on X
, “Cancelling is irrelevant.” British Vogue
View post on X
canceled a feature of the singer that was slated for its August issue.

Join today to read the full story.


Already a subscriber? Log in