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M.I.A in her new self-directed visual for ‘Borders’via Apple Music

M.I.A slams MTV for refusing to nominate her ‘Borders’ video

The rapper blamed the snub on ‘racism’, ‘sexism’ and ‘elitism’

M.I.A has accused the MTV Video Music Awards of “racism”, “sexism”, “classism” and “elitism”, after her politically-charged video for “Borders” failed to get included on this year’s nominee list.

The self-directed clip – which was released last November – sees the rapper join a group of refugees as they huddle on flotilla boats, climb barbed wire fences, and travel across the sea. Despite attracting a lot of attention on its release, the video was left out of the official VMA shortlist announcement earlier this week. 

“This is a perfect example of ‘allowed’ voice vs excluded voices,” the Sri Lankan-born, UK-based artist tweeted in response to the snub. “Not here 4 EGO or Accolades but know before you tell other world artists they have the same platform as major US artists coz they don't (sic).”

The MTV VMA shortlist was instead dominated by Beyoncé – a singer (and vocal Black Lives Matter advocate) who M.I.A has already been critical of this year. “Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter?” the rapper told the Evening Standard back in April. “Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters?” 

Read all of M.I.A’s tweets from yesterday (July 28), and rewatch the video for “Borders”, below: