To quickly recap: back in July, M.I.A.’s HARD Fest set ended in a deluge of rain, lightning, and recrimination. It went so badly it caused us to wonder if her 2010 was cursed. In the aftermath, she tweeted a promise: she’d be back in NYC, for free, just as soon as she returned from a trip abroad. It didn’t quite happen that way, and when she announced new tour dates on Tuesday, no free NYC date was listed. But one was theoretically still coming, as her camp confirmed to SOTC yesterday, saying “They are working on details, place, and date, so I don’t have info on it yet. Stay tuned.” Apparently, the details now include having her mother at the show. As she tweeted earlier today.
Why would America think M.I.A.’s mother constitutes a threat to national security? That story is pretty well told by now. But if the idea here is to leverage a nation of M.I.A. fans eager to see her perform for free into pressuring the State Department into taking her mother off whatever list she’s currently on, the tactic is already badly backfiring–as some aggrieved fan on Twitter wrote, “what does that have to do with putting on a terrible show and reneging on unsolicited promises?” M.I.A. then personally reprimanded that particular person, but can she reprimand them all? Considering that HARD Fest, M.I.A.’s ostensible partners in this endeavor, are now just retweeting a steady stream of vitriol directed at her, the answer seems to be no. Weird though that people who hate her so much still seem really committed to the idea of watching her perform for free, yeah?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 9, 2010