Her past Tweet battles have had her embroiled in controversy with folks from the New York Times to Sri Lankan nationalists. But this one veered into weirdly personal, disturbing territory, with the rapper losing her shit about the custody battle with her ex over her 4-year-old son Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman.
“BEN you cant take my son away from me… Just because you have money doesnt mean you have the right…” she Tweeted, naming her ex-fiance, Seagrams heir Ben Bronfman, who reportedly has a net worth of $100 million. “THE BRONFMANS WANT TO TAKE MY CHILD AWAY FROM ME. WHAT KIND OF S- IS THAT? THEY NEVER SEE HIM.”
She added: “Every child needs the MOTHER , I GREW UP WITHOUT A DAD . If grew up without my mother i wouldnt be here.”
Her Tweets were taken down within a half hour of being posted, but had already been recorded by a handful of outlets, including Radar Online.
The Twitter account of Bronfman, meanwhile, a principal advisor at the environmental company Global Thermostat, has been inactive since early February, though his profile photo is a shot of him and his son.
The couple split in 2012, and, since then, they have reportedly lived apart, with the rapper, 36, spending most of her time in the UK and the boys staying in New York. An "insider" told Daily News that M.I.A. is hardly in New York and that Ben’s mother, Sherry Bronfman, helps take care of Ikhyd.
M.I.A. has been an outspoken critic of the government in Sri Lanka, where she lived, during its civil war, until she was 8. She told the New York Daily News her 2010 album was influenced by what she said were “death threats” against her son, on Twitter, by people who were offended by her political stance. (So, not her fault, those Tweets.) She also harshed on the New York Times after it featured Sri Lanka as a nice place to vacation. "FUCK NEW YORK TIMES! DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO GO HERE ON VACATION?" she Tweeted, with a photo of dead bodies.
Then came her highly publicized New York Times profile, by Lynn Hirschberg, in which the reporter painted the rapper as a somewhat inauthentic, immature poser. In response, M.I.A. Tweeted Hirschberg’s cell phone number, with the offer, “CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;),” followed by “NEWS IS AN OPINION! UNEDITED VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW WILL BE ON neetrecordings THIS MEMORIAL WEEKEND!!!” (Hirschberg told the New York Observer, “It’s a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don’t think it’s surprising,” she continued. “She’s a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative.”)Her controversies come in person, too, of course—she flipped the bird to millions while performing with Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl, and, when she was 9 months pregnant with Ikhyd, gave a fierce yet slightly worrisome performance at the Grammy Awards, actually kicking off her own labor as she rapped about murder against high-decibel backup beats.
But in-person controversies, at least, are more controllable. They give you a face, and let you stay accountable. That the provocateur deleted her Tweets this time around gives us hope. But please, M.I.A., keep it together this time. It may just help you keep your kid.