M.I.A. is courting controversy once again, this time with a tweet that reiterates her anti-vax stance.
Like so many others, the veteran British rapper and singer (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) weighed in on the damages Infowars host Alex Jones has been ordered to pay to families of Sandy Hook victims.
A Connecticut court on Wednesday (Oct. 12) slapped the right-wing commentator with a $965 million verdict for falsely and repeatedly claiming the 2012 massacre was staged by actors as part of a conspiracy to take away Americans’ guns.
M.I.A. has an entirely different angle on it.
“If Alex Jones pays for lying shouldn’t every celebrity pushing vaccines pay too?” she tweeted.
M.I.A.’s comments are at odds with the vast majority of the medical community, and they come ahead of her album release, MATA, her sixth studio set and first via Island Records through a recently announced global deal.
The hip-hop artist has always followed the beat of her own drum. When she extended her middle finger during Madonna’s Super Bowl performance on Feb. 5, 2012, the gesture landed her in hot water with the NFL, a dispute that would finally be resolved some three years later.
Along the way, she has beefed with her label (Interscope), the Grammys, fellow artists and more.
As the novel coronavirus spread in March 2020, the rapper chimed in on social media, “If I have to choose the vaccine or chip I’m gonna choose death.”
When a follower called her out for being an “anti vaxxer,” the rapper responded with, “Yeah in America they made me [vaccinate] my child before the school admission. It was the hardest thing. To not have choice over this as a mother. I never wanna feel that again. He was so sick for 3 weeks then Docs had to pump him with antibiotics to reduce the fever from 3 vaxins.”
M.I.A. will celebrate the 20th anniversary next year for Arular, her debut, Mercury Prize-shortlisted album. In the United States, she has landed a string of top 10 hits including “Paper Planes,” “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” on which she appeared with Madonna; and Travis Scott’s Billboard Hot 100 leader “Franchise” with Young Thug.
In 2019, she was awarded an MBE for services to music.