M.I.A. Pauses Her Feud With Lady Gaga To Fight With ‘New York Times’ Reporter

Becky Bain | May 27, 2010 3:30 pm

Globe-trotting pop auteur M.I.A. has made abundantly clear that she didn’t care for the unflattering The New York Times magazine profile that just hit newsstands, and even went so far as to release the phone number of the article’s author, writer Lynn Hirschberg, enticing her fans to call and complain. (You know there’s some major drama happening when yet another Lady Gaga diss is the least interesting part of this story.)

Is M.I.A. overreacting, or does she have a right to be annoyed after being painted in such a negative light? We’ve provided a round-up of what everyone else on the web thinks. M.I.A.’s response isn’t that shocking to us — honestly, what do you expect from the same person who once tweeted “F*** NEW YORK TIMES” after they published a story she didn’t approve of that wasn’t even about her?

Bark + Bite seems to agree with Hirschberg’s point of view; they don’t call Maya a hypocrite, but just full of contradictions: “She slams Lady Gaga as a ‘mimic’ of her style but attaches herself to Christina Aguilera’s latest project and co-writes a song, ‘Elastic Love,’ that sounds exactly like something she herself would record. M.I.A. fancies herself a champion of the 3rd world poor, but is married to a wealthy millionaire’s son and talks about buying two houses.”

Jezebel thinks that Hirschberg’s article “constructs an image of M.I.A. as inherently contradictory, someone who’s more than a little spoiled but also uses controversy as an affectation, without any thought to how others may be impacted.” They also believe that M.I.A.’s persona remains “elusive” and that the emphasis in the interview on political matters, as opposed to focusing on her upcoming album, is “jarring” but “perfectly in line with M.I.A.’s lifestyle and philosophy. Music is a method, but it is always secondary to her mission, however she defines it.”

The New York Observer spoke with Lynn Hirschberg herself, whom calls the immature move of tweeting her personal phone number “a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don’t think it’s surprising… She’s a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative.”

Blackbook Mag spoke with Pharrell Williams about the spat, and he seems to either be Team Hirschberg, or is just worried about Maya’s safety. “She f***ed with the wrong person,” he said, clarifying that he meant “M.I.A., man! Do you have any idea how much weight Lynn pulls!?” We don’t know, but now we’re wondering.

Prefix Mag calls the article itself a good read, although “the copious Madonna comparisons and the relentless description of what M.I.A. is wearing at all times are blegch.”

Vulture, who listed the Top 10 Harshest Quotes from the article, remembers that this isn’t the first time Lynn Hirschberg has drawn the ire of a musician she profiled. Courtney Love was so upset with the outcome of her interview with Hirschberg (the one in which Love admitted taking heroin while pregnant) that she left damning messages on her machine and released a bootleg song called “Bring Me the Head of Lynn Hirschberg.”

So maybe this latest feud will at least inspire M.I.A.’s music? If not, she and Lynn can always settle their differences over more french fries. In the meantime, we’ll throw Hirschberg on the ever-expanding list of Things M.I.A. Hates.

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