Ahead of the release of her fifth studio album, reportedly titled Matahdatah, M.I.A. expressed her frustration with nameless "big American artists" who have appropriated her work and her "refugee sentiments," and added she was "on the verge" of releasing her album after numerous debates surrounding her headlining performance at Afropunk and her comments on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Though she doesn't explicitly reference either in the tweets below, she did use the term "not your mule," a statement that trended after this year's Oscars when black voices were called upon to speak up on behalf of non-black people of color. M.I.A. has been outspoken on the plight of refugees and Sri Lankan Tamils since the beginning of the year, and in an interview with the Evening Standard magazine, asked why other artists could speak up for Black Lives Matter but not for other struggles in the world. "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."