Mama M.I.A.! A year after giving birth to her first son, Ms. Arulpragasam is finally back with her first Complex cover and a fresh third album, /\/\/\Y/\ (a.k.a. MAYA), slated for release next month. We’ve obviously had a thing for the MC/producer/Oscar nominee/tastemaker for years now, so our latest cover collabo was like a dream come true. The June/July 2010 issue hits stands in a few weeks, but we’re giving you a chance to check out the full cover story (with extended photo gallery and video) now. Peep the Q&A to hear Maya go deep on a variety of subjects, from how she plans to raise a well-rounded kid as a superstar to her thoughts on Kanye and modern day hip-hop. Hit the links for more and check back tomorrow to see our second June/July cover…
What was your impression of America when you were little?
M.I.A.: The first place I came to was L.A., and I just loved it. From the airplane looking out the window, the landscape just shines—all the lights are twinkling, all the cars are reflecting the sun. It was very Tinseltown. If you’re coming from Sri Lanka and you want to experience the West, that was the extreme end of Western civilization to me—the vastness of L.A. was truly different. I wasn’t impressed with New York, ’cause it’s a bigger version of London. But L.A. was kinda cool.
Did you see much violence growing up?
M.I.A.: Yeah, all the time. My kid’s gonna see it, but he’s gonna see it in computer games. I don’t know which is worse. The fact that I saw it in my life has maybe given me lots of issues, but there’s a whole generation of American kids seeing violence on their computer screens and then getting shipped off to Afghanistan.