The two dated for five years, collaborating on M.I.A.’s second album Kala, released while they were still together in 2007. The hit “Paper Planes” helped launch both their careers when it was featured in TV and movies, including Pineapple Express (Diplo co-wrote and produced the track). Its non-traditional, gun shot hook resulted in a surprise radio anthem, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The two were joined by a mutual love of punk attitudes and world music. They continued to date and collaborate, and that’s when M.I.A. says she helped bring the Major Lazer project to fruition.
Co-founding member of the duo, Switch, was also featured prominently on Kala. According to her recent Instagram post responding to an interview by Diplo, M.I.A. and Switch were together in Jamaica, gathering influences and collaborators for the new electro-dancehall project. She claims Diplo was in Brazil at the time, and he wasn’t being a loyal lover.
When he arrived in Jamaica, she claims her efforts were drowned out and misrepresented. When their relationship dissolved, she says he turned on her, both in private and in the media. She cites an article in the New York Times, where he called out musicians who bring politics into their entertainment.
“During this time when 400,000 Tamil were getting bombed to death, he used to have a dart board of my face on his rider,” she writes. “No one came to my shows during this time because of that article and racist memes mad decent were spreading through hipsters.”
I just want to clear this up Here’s a lil story of how this happened. I discovered diplo because Steve Mackey played me a song by him released on big dada! I found out on a “flyer” he was djing and spent 16 pounds and bought my own way into fabric club in London . No one put me on the list! Nobody paid for it! I approached him and gave him my record! There was no label no A N R no channels. a handful of people believed in me , then when I got a deal , they turned on me. This was why i forged my own path and style and genre. I didn’t want anyone to say they made me! To this day so many people have made careers off me and the same people distort history destroy the story because of my politics , which he played a part in cementing. He said “politics is a terrible thing for music”in 2010 in the NYT article . During this time when 400 000 Tamil were getting bombed to death , he used to have a dart board of my face on his rider . Jus sayin . “He text me “you’re walking backwards into a brick wall” when the NYT article came out. While I was defending privacy laws with a newborn baby like it’s me against the world. No one came to my shows during this time because of that article and racist memes mad decent were spreading through hipsters. I let him cash in on the sound because I had no choice. I felt it was important to defend freedom of speech, even for American people and couldn’t play the game. Everyone involved in major lazer now came together through me. I made boyz in Jamaica and Trinidad. I took switch there carried beers up the mountain everyday . Wes wasn’t there because he was cheating on me in Brazil at the time. he turned up a year later and networked in JA saying he produced BOYZ coz the song blew in Jamaica. Walshy was the directors roommate and Chris was my day to day in Trinidad. it’s important you don’t see me as a Iil thing diplo discovered because I’m a brown woman , and this is the first story of a brown female musician who smashed it for the first time . That didn’t happen because I accidentally walked passed diplo. Ta! This is literally 1% of the story!
?Diplo wasn’t going to stay quiet amidst M.I.A.’s tirade, though. Only hours later, he responded to M.I.A.’s tweet of the same post — but instead of firing back, he acknowledged the influence she had on his life and hugely successful career.
not sure where your grudge comes from Im thankful for you believing in me. I wouldn’t have taken music seriously if it wasn’t for you #facts
— diplo (@diplo) August 26, 2017
This isn’t the first time these exes have aired their dirty laundry in the media, as the two went back and forth in 2015 in a series of articles published in Billboard and Rolling Stone. But even with their apparently still unsettled differences, M.I.A. and Diplo have since collaborated on a remix of her track “Bird Song,” from her recent album AIM.