Our June / July cover girl is M.I.A., and though she's never been shy about sharing her opinions, she's rarely opened up to a fashion magazine about her vision, her style, and her encounter with Tupac Shakur. But for NYLON, she did...
On being cautious on the Internet:
“Anybody who is called the government is right. And anybody who isn't called the government is not right… And you know, all governments are connected to Google, and all governments can shift their search engines so only what they want you to see comes up… I want kids to be aware of this digital circumstance… Everyone on the Internet is like, “Oh my God, come and join Facebook!” They're all so optimistic… and really, everyone is fucking you up behind the screens. And I don't like that. It makes it difficult for me to interact with my fans knowing that. Google and Facebook were developed by the CIA, and when you're on there, you have to know that.”
Her film school interview:
“I said, ‘If you don't accept me, you're going to change my life completely, because I'm going to go outside and get on the bus and I'll be a crackhead prostitute and go to jail. And three years from now, I'll come out of jail and make the best film.”
Her teenage years in Los Angeles.
"I was always going out to LA because my cousin lived there, and she knew all the Bloods and Crips. So I was hanging out with her, having crazy times, and then I'd come back and be like, ‘I hung out with Tupac last week!' and nobody knew who he was!”
On her unique sound:
“I thought being different was a bad thing, but then I realized it was just different because it hadn't been done before.”
On “Paper Planes”:
“Everyone was like, ‘You need to edit [the gunshots] out. They said, ‘You need something that's going to get on the radio.'”
--INTERVIEW BY LUKE CRISELL