MIA responds to critics of her headlining the first UK edition of Afropunk Festival

When it was announced that Afropunk, Brooklyn’s world famous festival, would be coming to London for the very first time later this year, Londoners couldn’t contain their excitement. However, when it was revealed that MIA would be headlining, alongside Benjamin Booker, SZA, Ho99o9 and more, the decision was met with a mixed response online, with some even threatening to boycott the festival unless she is removed from the line-up.

The criticism seems to stem from an interview MIA, who is of Sri Lankan heritage, did with The Evening Standard earlier this year, where she came under fire for seemingly undermining the Black Lives Matter movement. "It's interesting that in America the problem you're allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That's a more interesting question."

She later clarified those comments, denying that she was trying to attack the Black Lives Matter movement. "I'm not Muslim," she wrote. "My question was, on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016?"

Now, following the backlash, MIA says she will no longer play her headline slot at Afropunk festival. “Sorry I’m not doin’ Afropunk,” she tweeted on 20 June. “I’ve been told to stay in my lane. Ha there is no lane for 65 million refugees who’s lanes are blown up! #nolanes”.

While the festival has yet to confirm her departure from the line-up, Azealia Banks has come to MIA's defense on Instagram, writing:



Leave M.I.A the fuck alone. You guys are idiots and have COMPLETELY missed the point of what she's trying to tell you. THIS IS A BLACK PERSON. SriLankans/Indians are BLACK. U guys keep for getting that black is not something we share as an ethnicity it's something we share as a GLOBAL STRUGGLE. Everything/Everyone that is on the opposite side of the Aryan/Christian/Zionist world supremacy agenda has been marked as BLACK. And has been marked FOR DEATH. This includes, Africans, Indians, African Americans, Arabs, Muslims, south East Asians, aboriginal people, ETC. you motherfuckers DONT GET IT. m.I.a is trying to explain this deeply complex idea to you all with examples of current events but the LIBERAL MEDIA has its dick so far down you sheeples throats that you can't even understand what she's saying. SHES TELLING YOU THAT HER PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING JUST AS OURS ARE. LEAVE MAYA THE FUCK ALONE AND LET HER DO HER PERFORMANCE. FOR FUCKS SAKE. (Ps: no one said Muslim is an ethnicity! Just like "black" isn't !)

A photo posted by Azealia Banks (@azealiabanks) on