Beyonce‘s video and Super Bowl Halftime performance of her song “Formation” sparked endless debate and outcry against the singer, but political rapper M.I.A. had a different take on Bey’s song, Kendrick Lamar and public support of Black Lives Matter. In an interview with ES Magazine, the Sri Lanka-born star indicated that Black Lives Matter isn’t breaking any new ground–and asked why no one is addressing Muslim lives.
“It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter,” she stated.
“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 a tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama isn’t going to hump you back.”
Beyonce’s video and performance became lightning rods for the controversy since February, with some calling the singer “anti-police” and her having to explain her intentions in a recent Elle interview.
“Anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe,” said Beyonce. “But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.”
M.I.A.’s criticisms come on the heels of Erykah Badu‘s controversial statements regarding Black Lives Matter. “We can organize like a motherf—er when police beat us up,” Badu told FADER. “But can we organize to stop black-on-black crime, or poor-on-poor crime? Because, you know, poor is the new black. You don’t have to be black now.”