M.I.A. trashes Lady Gaga: 'She's not progressive, but she's a good mimic'

mia-gagaImage Credit: Steve Double/Retna UK/LandovVia New York magazine’s Vulture site comes excerpts from an interview recently given to British music mag NME by everyone’s favorite Sri Lankan pop revolutionary, M.I.A., in which the “Paper Planes” singer more or less bitchslaps Lady Gaga back to her Catholic schoolgirl days. Here’s the juiciest part:

“Do you think those programmes [X-Factor] and the Internet have destroyed the mythology around popstars?
I don’t know. Again, there’s Lady Gaga — people say we’re similar, that we both mix all these things in the pot and spit them out differently, but she spits it out exactly the same! None of her music’s reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is. She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic. She sounds more like me than I f—ing do! That’s a talent and she’s got a great team behind her, but she’s the industry last’s stab at making itself important — saying, ‘You need our money behind you, the endorsements, the stadiums’ Respect to her, she’s keeping a hundred thousand people in work, but my belief is: Do It Yourself.”

Ouch. Obvs, the “Gaga is derivative of literally everything that came before her” argument is not a new one. Positioning Gags as a pawn in the mainstream music industry’s final push for relevancy, on the other hand, is a pretty fresh form of nasty, given the way Our Lady of the Crazytown Lake goes out of her way to represent for all the counterculture art-freak misfits of the world. And to me, this quote smells more like an axe being ground against a neon-colored stone than an actual answer to the question at hand. Although the “20-year-old Ibiza music” bit is hilarious.

What do you think, Mixers? Who’s gonna walk out of this High-Concept Pop Thunderdome alive?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Ke$ha and more parodied in another hilarious Key of Awesome spoof
Thom Yorke jams out, road tests new tunes with Atoms for Peace in NYC
Big Boi drops “Shutterbugg”
Owl City remixes tourmates Lights’ “Saviour”


Comments (395 total) Add your comment
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  • Juuust a little outside

    So M.I.A. wants to be the new Ke$ha now? How original it is to put down other people’s work.

    • Alan

      Oh, snap. Right on. Sounds like somebody’s a bit wounded because a certain kickass popstar revolutionary is making it big. Go Gaga! Keep with it. :)

      • Key

        Whew!!! i thought i was the only one on Gaga’s side for a sec. :)

      • OMG2

        MI who??

      • RoBer

        kool! we r all on Gaga’s side! YES!!!!!

      • Joe

        Real, talented musicians don’t care about fame or how many singles/albums they sell. Think Bjork, Grace Jones, THEY were original and not just commercial machines. Lady Gaga sells makes a lot of money, but guess what…so does Justin Bieber. But if you think Gaga makes good music you probably think he does too.

        But I do admit Gaga’s songs are catchy. But so is Syphilis and Hepatitis.

    • TRUTH BE KNOWN

      “20-year-old Ibiza music”…that sounds about right.

    • Tim

      MIA is spot on. If you don’t agree, then you don’t know music.

      • Kara

        Music is subjective. It’s silly to say someone doesn’t “know” music. That’s like saying NO ONE knows music. Music is whatever the heck you want it to be.

      • J

        Because you obviously know music.

      • j

        she must know music, her name is kara. maybe she ought to stick to being a judge on ‘american idol” instead of commenting on blogs, lol

      • Nick T

        Gaga’s lyrics are original. They’re very tongue-in-cheek sexual. Gaga is not responsible for how the music sounds (good btw) but she does write her witty lyrics that probably often have dual meanings. I don’t why MIA is being so mean to her out of nowhere.

      • Josh

        Really?…Really?

        Disagreeing with M.I.A renders my opinions on music invalid?
        That statements about as stupidly broad, sweeping and indefensible as most of the things the average Gaga fan states.

        I disagree with M.I.A, and I think I have a fairly decent understanding of music. I think whilst Gaga isn’t necessarily progressive by normal standards, if you compare her to the majority of the pop world I think shes a breath of fresh air.

        When was the last time a pop artist gave a performance that actually has videos analysing the symbolism behind it (reference to her AMAZING VMA performance)
        When was the last time a pop artist actively stated their support of the LGBT community at risk of their own carrer.
        When was the last time a pop artist was as dedicated to her fans and work as Gaga?

        And as for the argument that she’s a derivative of everything that came before her. I thought thats what inspiration was called?

        She may not be perfect, but shes close.

      • Michael

        “When was the last time a pop artist actively stated their support of the LGBT community at risk of their own carrer.”

        Great point. I like what you’re saying. But, since is a pop star supporting the LGBT movement a risk to her career? Who do you think mainly listens to pop music? ;)

      • Orange Glass

        Even if it’s been a long time, Madonna, Cher, Bette Midler, Judy Garland even… haven’t they all publicly embraced their status as gay icons? Gaga isn’t original even that respect. I appreciate the fact that she embraces the gay community, but she’s far from being the first to do it. And considering her image and music, I fail to see how she’s taking a risk in doing that.

      • Monty

        @ Michael 14 year old girls and people at clubs

      • Kaylas Factory

        I like Gaga, but singling her out as rare for being a pop star in support of the LGBT community is absurd. Tons of pop stars are openly supportive of the LGBT community. Some even identify as part of it, eh?

      • Nick M

        to Nick T – on gaga’s “original” lyrics:

        “I’ve had a little bit too much
        All of the people start to rush.
        Start to rush babe.
        How does he twist the dance?
        Can’t find my drink or man.
        Where are my keys, I lost my phone.
        What’s go-ing out on the floor?
        I love this record baby, but I can’t see straight anymore.
        Keep it cool what’s the name of this club?
        I can’t remember but it’s alright, alright.”

        So original, it sounds like a text she sent one drunk night.

      • Mark

        M.I.A. is posturing like a teenager – in terms of what Lady Gaga COULD, or SHOULD, be doing. Who is M.I.A. to say what Lady Gaga should be doing? She certainly has the technical right to do so, but it is a sign of insecurity. If she wasn’t either a fan already that wanted more (yeah right…), or just envious of her fame (uhh, ya think??), why would M.I.A. even bother to take up the issue to begin with? Lady Gaga’s MO is that art should be subjective, MIA is saying, “this is how it should be”. What perspective stands the test of time? Gee, I wonder…

      • Lucy

        Hmm lets see, You have, One hit?
        Lady gaga however, has over 6, and Also, not many people know who you are, People WORLD WIDE know gaga.

        Im thinking this was a cry for attention, as she knew this was going to be ranted about and so on about, if she didnt, i feel sorry for her.
        :T

      • Steve

        @Lucy Hits have nothing to do with the quality of music. If anything, you are proving that M.I.A. is right when she says that Gaga is a good mimic.

        Listen to Ace of Base’s ‘Don’t Turn Around’, then listen to Alejandro. She is nothing but a overly theatrical, attention loving mimic.

      • bestofbothworlds

        I concur.

      • Autumn

        MIA’s music is 100x’s better than anything GaGa’s “Original” mind can and will ever produce.

      • Stevart

        MIA on Gaga is right on. Gaga IS the last attempt at an industry that is on life-support. Gaga confirms the worst stereotype of the lazy and ostentatious Italian: pure iconography with little to no connection to anthropology, no connection to the soil, music w/no soul. Madonna at least had the brains to root her art in NYC black ‘n’ latino dance culture. Gaga fans in a few years after the economy goes bust will be reacquainted with nature and the roots of art when they have to wait until the sun comes up before they dig for worms to eat.

    • Little monster

      I think both artist are equal.Lady gaga works really hard and she is breaking grounds!! She is a breathe of fresh air!!!!!! As for MIA quit bitchin about other artist!! Not cool!! dont be a HATER!! Do u even know what Ibiza music is?????

      • Erin

        Do you even know what Ibiza music is?

      • ALANNA

        When was the last time a pop artist gave a performance that actually has videos analysing the symbolism behind it … christina aguilera did it with beautiful video and her performances
        When was the last time a pop artist actively stated their support of the LGBT community at risk of their own carrer. …. christina aguilera did it with beautiful video and she has the GLAD AWARDS REMEMBER
        When was the last time a pop artist was as dedicated to her fans? EVERY ARTIST IS LIKE THAT !!! SEE CHRISTINA TOUR AND MESSAGE SHE GAVE FOR HER FANS

    • wino

      MIA has always been outspoken. this isnt anything new. i had to laugh at teh Kesha reference…seriously peeps, Kesha isnt a big enough or relevant star to use as a diss.

    • Cracky

      HMMMM, that’s weird. I don’t find either to be particularly original at all, but I enjoy them both nonetheless. I do agree that Gaga needs to pull out something ridiculous on the next album, instead of redoing Ace of Base. MIA is original in a certain sense of dilivery but she steals from a lot of artists before her as well. Please.

    • Rebecca

      A difference of opinion is hardly a ‘bitchslap’. What is more interesting is how having an opinion that differs from main stream media writers like Ms Pastorek can be considered a ‘bitchslap’

    • wakeforce

      Let’s look at record sales for a second. Hmm. How many more millions has GaGa sold next to Missing in Action? Methinks the issue is jealousy. So what if The Lady isn’t original. She ain’t the first artist on planet Earth.

      • K

        Why do people bring up record sales? Not all artists want to sell millions… music is a way of expression. It is not just a way of achieving fame and fortune, although some use music for that reason.

      • Gils

        As Gaga clearly does, she has a fame obsession. It’s quite transparent in her lyrics, even her album titles.

      • V.Esparza

        I don’t think it has anything to do with sales.

        I respect them both. Lady Gaga has long justified her song writing by stating that it’s influenced by vanity. And if it is so what? She wants to create POP music. That’s her thing.

        M.I.A. has always been a political rapper and a bloody good one at that. Her album Kala was so innovative and the depth to it was astonishing. But she pretty much regurgitated the song Jimmy so I find it so so SO queer that she would say something like that.

        Much love Gaga & M.I.A.!

    • john

      M.I.A. the new Ke$ha?? Thats funny…seeing as the music they make and their personality types couldn’t be more polar opposites. and ke$has music sucks. Lady Gagas does not but methinks she is a tad blown up and quite fake

    • Miss Lee

      AMERICA’S YOUTH IS A BUNCH OF WHINY, STUPID, SPOILED ASS KIDS! I saw M.I.A perform in a small downtown gym back in 2005 & her energy was quite contagious, I’ve been a fan ever since. I became a fan by circumstance & she really earns her fans respect because she is real. Her struggles are real. So what, she made a comment on Lady Gaga’s persona, she wasn’t all that wrong. If you’re asked a question you answer it without pretense, no? M.I.A has worked from quite literally the bottom up. She was raised in the mean streets of Sri Lanka & now advocates for the disgusting human conditions that her people are forced to live in. Children are being killed. You people need to wake up. Open your minds & listen to music that actually discusses the real problems of the world. You think that the homosexuals are mistreated? They are but if you look at the inhuman treatment of women & children around the world, you’d notice that we have it pretty easy over here in America. DO NOT disrespect M.I.A… her & her family have fought harder than you could ever imagine. Go ahead Maya, speak your mind. I’m listening.

      • K

        OMG… ily lol

      • TCA

        I’m so happy you’re trumpeting the cause of world deprivation and struggle. How could “American’s youth” understand the issues in the Third World without long winded self righteous MIA cheeleaders such as yourself? Thank you so much for enlightening me. LMAO

      • Liz

        Yeah. She was raised in Sri Lanka.
        We know. She also got taken out of it by a kajillionaire.

        Gaga also worked her way from the bottom up. It’s not like her daddy owns a famous hotel chain, or anything. She’s paid her debts, too. stfu.

        Gaga and MIA are equal artists. MIA has a right to her opinion, but not after she blatantly states she was copying Gaga anyways. She’s wonderful, but she’s being a hypocrite. Gaga’s fantastic too. MIA just needs to take some of her own medicine.

      • bestofbothworlds

        Thank God there is someone on this site who actually thinks. I love you.

    • Tim

      Sour Grapes.

      MIA- One minor top ten hit.

      LADY GAGA- Six top tens, including two # 1s, and almost 5 million records sold, not to mention the current crown of “our generation’s Madonna”

      Sorry, MIA. You lose.

      • K

        It is not about popularity… its about expression! people need to get over record sales and #1 hits. start listening and find the meaning within their lyrics!

      • A

        lmao “our generation’s Madonna” isn’t exactly a compliment. Actually I think it does Gaga a disservice because unlike Madonna, she actually does have talent. However, she uses her talent for evil, and that I cannot support.

      • ProfLinus

        i love everyone pulling the “ad populum” fallacy… she’s sold tons of records, so what? Lady Gaga has been proclaimed some great Pop Messiah of originality, when in fact she’s about as cookie-cutter as it gets. I remember seeing something on a different forum where someone tried to extract great social meaning from the lyric “Ra ra, ah ah ah, roma ah ah ah”… give me a break!

      • Brent M

        Since when has record sells (and being compared to Madonna, for that matter) necessarily defined a good artist?

      • Gils

        You know who else had 6 top ten hits? Britney Spears. Just saying, it ain’t no thing. Certainly not an indication of how talented an artist is. Of course this doesn’t mean that talented people can’t get top ten hits, but what I’m trying to point out is that you can’t use record sales as a means of saying, this artist is superior. Despite what these music ranking systems want you to think, talent isn’t quantifiable.

    • alle

      I know alot of GAGA fans gonna bash her and so on but I agree with her. I am gaga fan but MIA is on point. I wish the ppl commenting would take the fact that ou`re and fan out and see the truth.

      MIA #RESPECT

  • Ralfy Alberto

    Lady Gaga will long surpass this self-proclaimed “I’m hot” artist!
    I have never even heard of any of her song besides the mediocre Paper Planes. Lady Gaga has 6 no. 1 hits. She can do whatever she wants!

    • Brian

      Number one hits are overrated, and MIA’s been making amazing music for about a decade now.

      • Jay

        Agreed Brian…anyone can appeal to the lowest common denominator. MIA really is an innovator.

      • bruce

        I understand Brian, I think alot of them are. I love MIA and Lady GaGa. But I do not agree with what MIA said here. Lady GaGa’s music is no more the same or different from MIA’s though. I don’t thisn it was right to trash another artist and I in NO way believe the Lady GaGa is a “last attempt”

      • MultiPass

        She’s an interesting artist but sadly, she takes herself wayyyyy too seriously. talk about a cliche! And frankly, sounding off about Gaga is a blatant attempt at getting attention. My guess is that she must be about to release something new. And I am willing to bet Gaga gets her to guest on a song within a year. MIA, you like your crow served warm, right?

      • wakeforce

        But isn’t the point of doing music for a living to make money? Otherwise, why not just do it in your basement?

      • Felicitee

        Why shouldn’t people be allowed to make their living doing what they love? Why shouldn’t we reimburse artists for their contributions to our society? Not to mention, if you’re looking for a solid way to make money, going into the performing arts is a loser’s bet babe. Gotta have something more than that driving you or you got nothin’

    • fancypants

      LG has two #1 hits on the main billboard hot 100 chart, not 6.

      • AK

        But on the pop charts, she’s never released that didn’t go to #1.

    • D

      OMG this is so incorrect! You gagatards all believe what she falsely says!!

      She only has two number one hits!
      Rihanna has six!
      Yall are idiots, number ones are decided by billboard and gaga’s last number one was pokerface.

      UGH

    • Brock

      Simon Cowell from American Idol had this to say about Lady Gaga, when asked by Oprah about who he wanted as a guest mentor this year, “I think we should have Lady GaGa because she is the most relevant pop artist in the world at the moment,” he says. “I’ve met her, and she’s very smart. I like her.”

      M.I.A.’s statement on the other comes across as a bad case of sour grapes. I don’t maybe I just don’t think writing the number of monter hits Lady Gaga has had is as easy a everyone makes it out to be.

      • Gils

        Why would M.I.A. have sour grapes over what Simon Cowell said on American Idol? It’s American Idol.

    • Amy

      Ralfy Alberto – I don’t think you’re in any position to comment on M.I.A.’s music when you admit that you’ve only heard one of her songs. Why don’t you give her a listen before dismissing her?

      Also, the amount of number one hits an artist chalks up is not generally a measure of talent, but instead an indication of some successful PR and marketing.

  • John

    M.I.A. has been around longer than Kesha and Gaga. Kesha rips off her musical style completely… As for the Gaga comments. Musically speaking, there is little creativity in Lady Gaga’s work. That’s hard to debate. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that electronic dance music is novel?! What planet are you from? That said, she’s pretty creative when it comes to her videos and shows.

    • Ethan

      “Pretty creative when it comes to her videos and shows” stands in contrast to “little creativity in Lady Gaga’s work.” So apparently it’s not hard to debate. As a songwriter, Lady Gaga never proclaimed to be doing more than writing addictive pop songs, but you seem to be on to the notion that that’s part of a larger approach. Plus the songs are very good and take a lot of self-serving grouchiness to dislike. Instead of being cranky that people have (shocking!) made pop music before, you might as well just enjoy the spectacle while it’s around. Same goes for MIA, I suppose.

      • Brooke

        “As a songwriter, Lady Gaga never proclaimed to be doing more than writing addictive pop songs”

        I know, which is why MIA’s comment left me confused. While Gaga’s fashion style is purposefully weird, she’s always said that she writes music that’s catchy pop music instead of writing music that she feels deep inside. At this point in her career, I don’t think she’s trying to be anything more progressive with her music yet.

  • crispy

    M.I.A. is right. Gaga’s personality and character is far more compelling than her music. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Music today is multimedia.

    • paige

      Hi crisp! miss ya much… oh and yes i agree of course

  • George

    I really enjoy both Mia and Lady GaGa but I must agree with Mia. When I first saw Lady Gaga, she had elements I’ve seen before. It’s flattering if anything. Plus, Mia herself isn’t groundbreaking either. Her qoute would be just as true if you switched the names.

  • Marty

    Saying that Lady Gaga represents all the “counterculture art-freak misfits of the world” is much like saying Chris Gaines represents all the emotionally-challenged indie rockers of the world. It’s all a thinly veiled act that she just barely pulls off with any conviction.
    Here’s to a real artist calling her out!

  • Journey

    MIA is clearly a bitter little bird. One thing I can’t stand is artists trying to drag down their peers in an effort to get publicity. So Sad.

    • Brian

      The only “sad” thing is the certainty in your comment.

      • TRUTH BE KNOWN

        GAGA is DONE

  • Dysthymia83

    MIA is a one-hit wonder. And her one hit is an annoyingly vapid song that only got airplay because it was used in the trailer for a stoner comedy.

    • George

      She might be a one hit wonder here in the states but check her stats everywhere else in the world.

      • Marie

        no matter what the rest of the world says, here in “the states” she still a one hit wonder. and i’m sure most people here are asking “who is MIA?”
        so until she can challenge Gaga on the charts here, most people will take her comments to be all talk and no walk.

      • 4rocket

        Anyone who thinks that success only counts if it’s in the US is what I call an Ugly American.

      • Dub

        Is this a discussion about music or about charts? MIA isn’t a one-hit anything because she isn’t DEFINED by her hit

      • powell

        4rocket has it right!!! American’s feel as though their opinions are the only one’s, MIA is insanely popular in the UK. Both are extraordinary arstists, but MIA has different styles to her music. She’s multidimensional in her musical art whereas Gaga extends to other mediums of expression. Gaga as of yet has not released a hit single without the “electro-pop” feel, and the only thing that is “annoyingly vapid” is the cord progression of bad romance.

      • Steve

        @Marie

        “so until she can challenge Gaga on the charts here, most people will take her comments to be all talk and no walk.”

        And those people would be idiots for thinking that. I didn’t know you had to be a huge pop star to have an opinion. Thank god I don’t live in “the states”.

    • Maggie25

      Anyone commenting here thinking that the only thing M.I.A. has ever done is Paper Planes, should not be commenting. She is basically an independent artist who happened to have a big hit. She has released two albums, both of which have been critically acclaimed, and has a third one coming out this summer. Whether or not her comments about Lady Gaga are accurate, I don’t know, I like some Lady Gaga songs, but M.I.A. isn’t just some wannabe popstar is all I’m saying.

      • George

        Right on Maggie. Well said!

      • Zoey

        Agreed! People who think that Paper Planes is her only song don’t know what they’re talking about.

      • PFCDavis10

        I agree too, Paper Planes isn’t her only song, and in fact it is far from her best…Lady Gaga’s music is almost repetitive. Gaga is more of a visual “artist” more compelling in video and live appearances, while M.I.A. is more of a well rounded musician. Both have completely different styles and shouldn’t be compared to one another. Was M.I.A.’s comments harsh, yes. But the fact is people should understand that we are all allowed to say whatever we want. I personally agree with M.I.A., and not because I have a dislike for Lady Gaga but because M.I.A.’s statements are what many people have been saying for about a year.

    • Brian

      Dysthymia83 = uninformed

    • wow lol

      if you think paper planes is vapid, you must have never paid attention to the lyrics. and where in the article are they talking about HITS? Since when does a “hit” define artistry? Especially in this day and age, usually crappy songs are the hits.

  • ian g

    M.I.A. > Lady Gaga, though i listen to neither.

    but Gaga will be the victor, because stupid people cater to stupid music.

    • Kels

      No offense, but how can you make either of those calls when you don’t listen to either one of them?

    • kiki

      Gaga’s music and style isn’t stupid. neither is MIA’s. both artists are phenomenal. it was just childish the way she brought up Gaga. I dont know if it’s from jealousy or for publcity, but either way, it was very immature, just like what you said.

      and i love lady gaga, and im an honor student.

      • Steve

        You can be academically smart, and still be musically illiterate.

  • Zoey

    M.I.A. is amazing and been doing her thing years before Gaga or Ke$ha were around, so she wins.

    • SBOY

      KE$HA is a pice of SH*&… She is so talentless, that I blow more talent out my nose than she does with her music…
      THE ONLY SONG THAT I HAVE HEARD OF M.I.A is paper planes.. and GAGA is the best

      • Zoey

        M.I.A. has put out two critcally acclaimed albums, Arular and Kala and is in works to release a third one this summer.

      • CHUNKS

        @most of you……you guys should get an earfull of MIA. she is off the hook and ten times more original then GaGa…When paper planes came out it was awful because MIA got all the wrong fans to follow…I feel like a tool for blogging about this when it so isnt worth the time!!! -ChUnKs617

      • Steve

        If “Paper Planes” is the only song you’ve heard by M.I.A. then you aren’t educated enough to make judgments about who is “the best”. But you are aloud to say whatever you want… and you are aloud to be stupid.

    • kiki

      both are great artists! stop being rude to these amazing musical icons! you WISH you could be as great as gaga!

  • J

    The whole “Gaga is derivative of literally everything that came before her” argument is seriously getting old. Art itself is derivative. Just because something seems new or innovative doesn’t mean that it wasn’t derived from what has already been. Just because something is an amalgam of old ideas doesn’t mean that it’s not innovative.

    As for M.I.A., who is she to say that Gaga’s music doesn’t reflect herself but rather the music industry’s attempt at relevancy? How can you simply dismiss someone’s music when you don’t even know that person and probably have never spoken to that person?

    • Brian

      Gaga doesn’t seem new or innovative. She’s definitely smart and talented, and has a good heart, but this idea that she’s a revolution in music is ridiculous.

      • bruce

        She’s more of a revolution of a pop star and Pop music than music as a whole.

      • J

        Yeah, I don’t believe she is a revolution in music either, and I’m not one who’s qualified judge whether she actually is innovative or not. But what is wonderful about her is that she is (at least somewhat) pushing the envelope of mainstream pop culture. Even if there are plenty of indie artists who have done what she’s done in terms of music, she is the one who has all the visibility and influence. In which case, I don’t think someone like M.I.A. should simply dismiss her as a mimic.

    • Whitney

      It may be old but it is true. People make the argument to get fans to look past Gaga’s smoke and mirrors and experience other art. Wether it works or not is apparently less important.

  • Kels

    Gaga may be an amalgamation of pop history, but she’s a darn good one. She feels fresh and fun and she’s far superior at her craft then anyone in recent memory. Who else currently does pop art better? She does it far better than Britney ever did. She’s a better singer than Madonna. She managed to upstage Beyonce in Telephone. She inspires millions of people in ways I haven’t seen in awhile. It’s really hard to be relevant and interesting in today’s culture and to sustain it. She’s done an amazing job.

    • J

      Well said.

    • Jay

      Kels, I’m personally not a fan of Gaga’s but I think you’re right – she’s got people up and moving, and really that counts the most. Thanks for the post.

    • Jake

      Madonna OWNS GaGa, she’s a better song writer, dancer, artist, videographer and far more original. GaGa wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Madonna. And so what if you think her voice is better…it doesn’t make her a better artist. Is Mariah Carey a better artist then the John Lennon, or Celine Dion better then Bono or Springsteen? NO…b/c it comes back to the songs and music itself. Where Madonna owns every other female artist.

      • beb

        And why did Madonna resort to a collaboration with Timbaland AND Justin Timberlake to score her last top 10 hit? That’s right. Sticky and Sweet was more like Stiff and Bland.

      • fancypants

        Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey both have it over Madonna in terms of mass appeal (they appeal to minorities and the hip-hop demo as well as the white-collar demo), dance (Janet) and voice (Mariah).

      • Robbyrob

        Beb,

        Aren’t you the witty one….still & bland…yuk, yuk…your parents must be so proud of that education you have. Madonna didn’t have to ‘resort’ to working with Justin and Timbaland. You might want to open that brain of yours and factor in that both Justin and Timbaland…not to mention Pharrel and Kanye WANTED to work with Madonna too. It’s a two way street here sweetheart. All artists should be lucky when other artists who appreciate their work want to work with them. Justin just wasn’t hired by Madonna…they get along great. Madonna loved Justins music and Justin has been a fan of Madonnas for years. Case closed. Get over it. BTW, Justin even helped induct Madonna into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a few years back. Sorry Beb, but your comments are quite dim-witted. If you even saw Sticky & Sweet, you’d know that show was hardly bland or stiff. What planet are you even from? I saw S&S in NYC and just bought it’s release on DVD the other day. Loved it, loved it, loved it…as did the many thousands of fans from Argentina…a country that wouldn’t tolerate anything stiff or bland…unlike your comments.

      • beb

        Good for you. BTW, I called it STIFF and bland, not still and bland. Hooked on Phonics evidently didn’t work for you.

        And yes, my parents are proud of my education. I make over 100K per year. :-)

      • klee

        Beb, you’re obviously really not that classy or educated if you’re trying to bring your income and “hooked on phonics” into this argument

    • Robbyrob

      Kels,

      First of all, Gaga has only been famous for a year or so…lets see her sustain that momentum and relevancy for 25 years like Madonna has done. Sure, Madonna’s voice is not that strong…duh. That doesn’t undermine how well-loved she is still. I mean, she breaks her own touring records….99.9% of her shows, both here in the USA and abroad are sell-outs. Madonna was voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on her first year of eligibility. Her numerous awards and chart toppers speak for themselves. Did Elvis have the perfect voice? The Beatles? Frank Sinatra? Each person is unique and special in their own way….some become icons like the ones I mentioned while others fade away. You sound real juvenile that in order to prop up Gaga, you have to rip other artists. I guess I can resort to your mindset then….let me see…ok, Madonna is a better dancer than Gaga… :p Lets see Gaga ditch her outlandish outfits. I’d like to know the real Gaga, Stephanie Germotta. Madonna didn’t have the money when she first started out for her clothes…she just wore what she could afford at the time. Gaga comes from a rich family so that’s why she can bankroll all of her outfits….and thats what has contributed a lot to her success. Oh, yes, radio is playing Gaga a lot…almost too much now. A lot of older artists are not played on radio anymore. Their albums do well but can’t get singles played. That shouldn’t be held against Madonna. She has nothing more to prove. She’s an icon…face it whenever you want. At least Madonna was born with that name…she didn’t need to change it for her fame. Meanwhile, Gaga is currently being sued by an ex-boyfriend for $30 million with the biggest charge being that HE created her Gaga moniker.

  • Aaron

    Gotta bow down to M.I.A. for finally preaching what I’ve been saying all along. What she said is absolutely true; there is little-to-no originality in Gaga’s music and I find her self-positioning as some quasi “voice” for outcasts/freaks/etc with her mid-90s club music and half-avant garde, half-stupid wardrobe absolutely absurd.

    • Tim

      There is ZERO avant garde about Lady Gaga. It’s all very calculated, chart-targeted pop. There’s nothing spontaneous, fresh or intellectual about ‘Poker Face’, kids.

      • My opinion only

        UGH. If there is one thing I can’t stand, its this whole “cooler than thou” thing that goes on in music. Gaga makes catchy pop songs and does it well, and she successfully found a way to sell performance art quirkyness to the masses. Good for her. If it was so easy to do, many others would have done it before her. Why can’t people just enjoy what she does without the whole “I must look down my nose on anyone who is not indie cool enough” thing? Those people do what they do, Gaga does what she does. Everybody is happy. The end.

      • Chord

        “If it was so easy to do, many others would have done it before her.”

        Um, THEY HAVE! What, did you live in a cave pre-Lady Gaga? I think this illustrates MIA’s point, people think Gaga invented the wheel! Seriously from Elvis to every artist before Gaga, IT’S BEEN DONE BEFORE!!! Ugh!

      • My opinion only

        NO, NOT ON THE POP SCENE. People have done similar things before BUT NOT IN A WAY THAT THE MAINSTREAM FOUND ACCESSIBLE. That was my point genius. And your comment also illustrates my point. Lady Gaga does what she does, is good at it, and never claimed to be the first.. she openly talks about her influences. But people will wank about her not really being “good” because she’s not “original” as if doing what Gaga does is oh so easy and any old person could do it. Just enjoy what the cool kids do and enjoy what Gaga does, there is room for both kinds in the world.

      • Chord

        @My opinion only: Your comments proves that you either have short-term memory problems or you’re 10 years old. What about MICHAEL JACKSON, MADONNA, even THE BEATLES (they’re not just icons in rock music, they’re also considered pop too), are you saying they didn’t make pop music mainstream and accessible? God, how DUMB can you be? Gaga may not claim to be the first, but her IDIOTIC FANS sure act like it! And btw, the whole point of pop music is that it IS mainstream and accessible! That’s why it’s called pop! Short for “popular”. Whether she is good or not is subjective, that’s not what I’m debating, but Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce all have had great success as pop stars for well over a decade now. It’s not so much a matter of being super-talented or making great, revolutionary music, it’s a matter of luck and your label properly promoting you!

      • Asif

        - What a wunferdol and amazing story!! God Bless!! I hope they have a big sucess with the fundraiser!!

    • My opinion only

      What in the world are you talking about? You totally missed the point. I’m talking about the bringing performance art and avant garde fashion to the mainstream. Isn’t this how the discussion started? That she wasn’t original because she hadn’t invented the look or all the elements of her schtick? And I said that was true, but she was the first to successfully sell THAT PARTICULAR SENSIBILITY in a mainstream pop package, and that was not really an easy thing to do. And that she should get some credit for doing that so well without having to deal with snobby underground indie types – I used to be one of you, so I know all about that foolishness – who want to claim that it’s not “real” or “revoluntionary” enough. She isn’t claiming to be orginal, jackass.

      And I’m not even a Gaga “fan”. So you can cut that noise.

      • Chord

        I didn’t even mention whether Gaga was good or not, so don’t associate me with indie hipster snobs. Believe it or not, it’s not just the indie hipsters that dislike her. A person with diverse taste in music may also dislike her for their own reasons. I also said it’s Gaga’s FANS that act as though she is original, I didn’t say anything about what Gaga thought of her own image or music.

      • Steve

        @My opinion only

        You just got your ass handed to you by Chord. I’m a diehard Zeppelin fan (definitely not a hipster) and I want to strangle Gaga when I hear “Alejandro” when I go to the mall. “Mimic” is the perfect description for her.

        Go M.I.A!

      • Joe

        Wake up. What is wrong with you? Are you culturally retarded? Lady Gaga is NOT, I repeat NOT Avante garde. I can go and buy a hat with a lobster on it, wear it, but it won’t make me avante garde. Jesus Christ.

  • prof

    M.I.A.’s just jealous, she’s been doing the whole look-at-me-I’m-from-crazytown shtick for so long and someone comes along who does it better and sells millions. I love them both (gaga more) but please don’t hate on someone just because they’re good at what they do. I mean what was Madonna besides an eighties version of Marilyn Monroe.

    • J

      Madonna was a Marilyn knock-off??!?!? Did you stop with Material Girl. Madonna made fun of stereotypes including Marilyn…there’s no “settling for your Diamonds when you’re looks fade” with Madonna. No one looked or sounded like Madonna when she came out…Get Real dude!

  • mark

    MIA isn’t wrong but she isn’t entirely right either. Gaga’s music isn’t groundbreaking, but it sounds fresh. MIA brings way more new ideas to music but Gaga sells it better.

    • Brian

      No, her team sells it better. MIA’s pretty do-it-yourself.

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