When the rapper M.I.A. came to New York City recently to promote her new documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., it should have been a standard press tour. Instead it involved her driver almost getting arrested and M.I.A. herself getting “a couple of words from the officer.”
Oh, and all of this happened while she was on the phone with Riz Ahmed. (The two British celebs then met up for lunch the next day after realizing that both were in the Big Apple.)
Interview Magazine has a fun new conversation with Ahmed and M.I.A. in which they discuss the film, what it’s like to share your family’s story with the world and the weirdness of ordering kale curry. We’ve rounded up our favorite quotes below:
On the pressure of creating political art in the Trump era:
Ahmed: Now we’re in this weird moment due to Trump and people are like, “Yo, go on, tell your story. Do it now.” But sometimes that brings such a burden. We’re expected to carry the burden of representation for our whole communities and I don’t want to.
On how M.I.A.’s family felt when she first rose to fame:
M.I.A.: Yes. In the beginning they were like, “Oh my God, this is so embarrassing. Why are you saying that we are poor?” And I’m like, “’Cause you are.” And then they’re like, “Yeah, but that’s not the deal. We don’t want to talk about that.”
And that whole kale curry thing:
Ahmed: What did you order?
M.I.A.: The kale curry.
Ahmed: The kale curry?
M.I.A.: It’s just not right.
Ahmed: That’s basically probably a fair representation of where we’re at in life right now.
M.I.A.: That’s true. Curried kale.
Ahmed: That’s the name of the next album, isn’t it? That’s the collab album that we’re doing.
M.I.A.: With a poached egg on the top, and crunchy bits.
You can read their whole conversation over at Interview magazine.