Taking sides: Is M.I.A. speaking the truth about Lady Gaga or just being bratty?
As you read in today's morning news, M.I.A. had a few words to say about Lady Gaga.
"None of her music’s reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is. She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic. She sounds more like me than I [expletive] do! That’s a talent and she’s got a great team behind her, but she’s the industry last’s stab at making itself important - saying, ‘You need our money behind you, the endorsements, the stadiums’ Respect to her, she’s keeping a hundred thousand people in work, but my belief is: Do It Yourself."
In our weekly Taking sides column, Click Track's contributors tackle the question: Was M.I.A. right to call out the newest and biggest pop star for what she perceives as a lack of originality and integrity? Or was she just being kind of a brat? Cast your vote below and read our thoughts after the jump.
Sarah Godfrey: I will take my pop music beef however I can get it -- manufactured to drum up interest in a new project or actually genuine. It matters little to me. But, having said that, I think M.I.A was just speaking truth to power in this case. She's right that Gaga's look/image is far more interesting and weird than the actual music she makes. And if M.I.A., who considers herself a musical innovator, feels people are comparing what she does to what Gaga does, I don't blame her for bristling a little. Fingers crossed that this results in a couple of diss records.
Allison Stewart: I think both things are true: She's calling it like she sees it and being bratty. There's a kernel of truth in what she says: Lady Gaga isn't doing anything earth-shatteringly new. But!
1) Whatever one thinks of Gaga's music, she seems to be a generally nice person who doesn't do a lot of trash-talking. M.I.A. comes across as insecure and petulant, even though she has a point.
2) M.I.A. records for one of the world's biggest conglomerates. She married a Bronfman. Her criticisms of Gaga for not doing it herself, for being a cog in some corporate wheel, seem tone-deaf at best and really, really un-self aware at worst.
David Malitz: M.I.A. has always prided herself on being as anti-establishment as possible (while still allowing her song to be used in Seth Rogen stoner comedies, of course) so it's no real surprise that she takes an unprompted shot at Gaga, the newest and biggest pop music superstar. She's right in some of her criticism and she's also a bit hypocritical. But it's best that M.I.A. not reign herself in at all -- whether it be in interviews or in her songs. It's more interesting when she lets loose.
Chris Richards: As our popscape continues to splinter in a zillion little niches, these two women feel worlds away from each other - which is surprising, considering that both are nightclub anthem crafters and fantastic outfit wearers. So in a funny way, M.I.A. bad-mouthing Gaga sorta brings us all together again. Keep talking that trash, Maya. U-N-I-T-Y!
April 8, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: Taking sides | Tags: Lady Gaga, M.I.A.
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