M.I.A : Julian Assange opens for M.I.A at NYC concert (2013)
Julian Assange opens for M.I.A. at a concert in NYC (2013)
M.I.A. is never one to shy away from political inuendos in her music or the media. The very first song on her 2010 ‘𝘔𝘈𝘠𝘈’ album is a whistle-blowing anthem calling out governments for spying on the populous through the internet — a conspiracy confirmed by Edward Snowden 3 years later.
The British rapper was born in London in 1975 before moving to Sri Lanka for a decade, where her father was a political activist and was forced into hiding during a civil war. Her experiences in Sri Lanka during the war would heavily influence the artist, opening her eyes to the ignorance of Western media. In one of her most controversial acts to date, the outspoken ‘𝘗𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘴’ artist channeled Julian Assange for a 10 minute lecture to her fans prior to her performance in NYC in November of 2013. Assange remarkably Skyped into the concert from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was living in exile while wanted for arrest in the USA, U.K & Sweden for leaking official Gov’t documents. The WikiLeaks founder would go on to discuss cyber security and his admiration for the British singer. M.I.A. had became a supporter of Julian’s following his release of documents on WikiLeaks confirming war crimes in Sri Lanka in 2009.
M.I.A & Assange would forge a relationship for years to come, with the former visiting Julian in Belmarsh prison as recent as last year. Following her visit, she hosted a concert in front of the UK’s Gov’t home office campaigning for his freedom in November 2019.