M.I.A. Learned From The ‘Born Free’ Controversy: The MTV News Quote Of The Day

“It was just interesting at the time, for me, to see how the Internet works. Because I tweeted [a video purportedly showing the execution of Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka] a couple months before, and nobody really gave a sh–. And when there’s tomato ketchup and fake blood, people are like, ‘Oh my God, this is shocking!’ And it’s like, ‘It’s ketchup!’ [So] I think it’s interesting how we react to fiction and how we react to realism on the Internet.”

-International dance and electronic music sensation M.I.A., discussing the controversy that rose up over the violence in the video for “Born Free.” The clip, which premiered a few months back, features a narrative about a holocaust that takes out redheaded people. The song comes from her new album /\/\/\Y/\, which is set to hit store shelves on July 13. Though many of her critics dismissed the “Born Free” clip as a piece of sensationalism, M.I.A. insists that you need to see past the sensationalism and look at the real issues.

“Thinking about ‘Born Free,’ what, a month on, is interesting because, last week, I guess in [Texas,] they shot the Mexican kid,” she said, referring to the 15-year-old shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent earlier this month. “Or, think about the boat that went into [Gaza] with all the activists. … Since the video came out, there’s been events. This is not some weird, crazy conspiracy theory, this is mainstream media. I wish I was talking about way more underground theories, but [I'm] not, this is just me digesting what I see in the mainstream.”