Earlier this year, M.I.A. managed to piss off the Beyhive and black activists in one fell swoop with an ill-advised quote about Black Lives Matter. When asked about Beyoncé’s pro-black Super Bowl performance, she told London’s Evening Standard:
“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 program, you cannot create that tag on Twitter. Michelle Obama is not going to hump you back.”
She later clarified on Twitter that she was trying to pose a question of which issues get preferential treatment on American platforms, but her comments still didn’t sit well with many online. Today she’s back with a new song, “POC That Still a Ryda,” that attempts to shut down any lingering questions about her stance on racial equality with one line: “I’m here for every color, including Black Lives Matter.”
Elsewhere on the song she raps, “Not white like the Oscar” and describes constant racial profiling by police. M.I.A. calls the track “a mix of all the songs on my upcoming LP,” which she’s previously tweeted is now up to her label to release and promote because she can’t get a U.S. visa. She adds: “Had to do a remix to let u know, I been poor, I been rich, i been brown, i been black, I seen white and I been around the world a few times ay ay ay ay. LOVE IS THE ANSWER what the question is I don’t fucking know.” Welp, that clears that up.