Oh, it’s on. M.I.A. didn’t mince words when she sat down to chat with Rolling Stone recently about her 2005 debut album, Arular, which turns 10 this year. During the very candid interview, the “Sunshowers” rapper took aim at Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey, claiming that the media mogul shunned her at an event several years ago.
“In 2009, Time nominated me for one of the most influential people of the 21st century or something and I met Oprah at that party,” M.I.A., now 39, recalled to RS. “And I was like, ‘Hey, people are gonna f–king die in my country. Like, please pay attention.'”
(Born in London but of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, the musician — real name, Mathangi Arulpragasam — has been very outspoken about the political and social turmoil in the country where she was raised from a very young age. Her activism is controversial, though, and has alienated her in the past.)
According to M.I.A., Winfrey was unresponsive to her pleas for help. “She was like, ‘You’re s–t because you were rude to Lady Gaga and I’m not talking to you. And I’m gonna interview Tom Cruise jumping on my sofa, so f–k off,'” the Oscar-nominated Slumdog Millionaire rapper told Rolling Stone.
The OWN creator was apparently willing to pose for a photo with M.I.A., but that was it. “Yeah, she didn’t talk to me. She shut me down,” the musician claimed. “She took that photo of me, but she was just like, ‘I can’t talk to you because you’re crazy and you’re a terrorist.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not. I’m a Tamil and there are people dying in my country and you have to, like, look at it because you’re f–king Oprah and every American told me you’re going to save the world.'”
“When I got signed by Interscope, he literally smashed my hotel room and broke all the furniture because he was so angry I got picked up by a major label and it was the corniest thing in the world that could possibly happen…” she shared. “I wish I enjoyed it because I had this person on my shoulder the whole time saying, ‘It’s s–t, it’s s–t, it’s s–t. You shouldn’t be on the charts. You shouldn’t be in the magazines and you should not be going to interviews. You should not be doing collaborations with famous people. You should be an underground artist.'”
Diplo is now somewhat mainstream himself, having worked with artists including Madonna, Usher, Chris Brown, and Britney Spears, among others. He’s also famous for dating Katy Perry, and for starting a feud with Taylor Swift (and Taylor Swift’s fans) on Twitter.
According to Rolling Stone, M.I.A. reconnected with her ex after doing this interview — but in the moment, she didn’t hold back. “It’s only now when I look back at it in 2015, I can see that he was just jealous and he couldn’t wait to be Taylor Swift’s best friend and date Katy Perry,” she said. “But at that time, I believed him.”