M.I.A. is not just a singer. She is a high-profile person who courts controversy in all ways, whether it is discussing Sri Lankan politics, creating videos too graphic for YouTube, or blasting New York Times journalists for inaccurately reporting she ate a truffle french french fry. Pregnancy and motherhood did not calm her in any way, even when her baby received death threats.
M.I.A. gave birth to Ikhyd, after experiencing contractions while on-stage at the 2009 Grammy Awards with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and T.I. In the latest issue of Dazed and Confused Magazine she discusses the last months of her pregnany saying, ” People were sending me death threats and telling me bad shit about my kid… People would write on Twitter and YouTube, ‘Your baby is going to die,’ because I was talking about the Sri Lankan government and the issues that were going on there.”
But despite being frightened, M.I.A. did not want to let go of her message. “It was the month they decided to end a 30 year long civil war so it wasn’t like I could go, ‘Ooo, sorry I just can’t deal with this right now, I’ve got a baby on the way!’”
As to whether or not it was discovered who was sending threats or whether or not legal action was taken, M.I.A. doesn’t say, but she does believe that the experience influenced her music. “I think the album is a mixture of all those things – babies, death, destruction, and powerlessness.”
Are you a fan? At what point do you put aside your own beliefs and your life’s message for your child? How would you have reacted? Would you have been silenced?