Some might remember when M.I.A caught the wrath of the NFL and many in America after she flipped the bird during a feature performance with Madonna at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. After being slapped with a $16.6 million lawsuit, M.I.A said that Jay-Z, her manager at the time via Roc Nation, urged her to sign a “ridiculous” settlement that she refused to do.
M.I.A, born Maya Arulpragasam, sat with Huck magazine to discuss her new documentary with Stephen Loveridge, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A, a film she’s not completely happy with given her comments in the chat. When the discussion turned to the 2012 controversy, M.I.A didn’t hold back her words.
“It [the hatred] was from everybody and it just felt ridiculous. When they hit me with the lawsuit it activated so many people to come after me on so many different levels. What’s in the film is a very tiny bit of what happened to me in real life. It’s quite entertaining for Steve to have made it into this nice little cookie but the reality of that was way worse. A lot of people I feel got off the hook.”
“If you’re talking about racism and sexism, that moment in my life showed the cracks in everyone I knew. I was at Roc Nation at the time and Jay Z was managing me. The lawsuit was so ridiculous, it proposed that they would keep one hundred percent of my earnings for the rest of my life if I ever earned more than $2 million dollars. Jay Z was, like, ‘you should sign that shit’ and I was, like, ‘no.’”
M.I.A said she’s since moved on from that, but still has some strong thoughts about the fervor around it considering her political views and tendency to ruffle feathers.