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MIA Copies Gaga's "Telephone" Video



One day Christina is copying Madonna's Express Yourself, now MIA is copying GAGA...is anything  new anymore?

May 26 2010 2:00 PM EDT

M.I.A. Admits 'Born Free' Video Copies Lady Gaga's 'Telephone'

'Both our videos are road movies. We kill people, and they kill people,' singer tells New York Times.

By James Montgomery


She might not have many nice things to say about Lady Gaga lately, but M.I.A. freely admits that her controversial "Born Free" video took more than a little inspiration from Gaga.

Like, way more than a little.

"With our video, we were really copying 'Telephone,' " M.I.A. told the New York Times Magazine in a feature set to run on Sunday (May 30). "Both our videos are road movies. We kill people, and they kill people. They start out in a prison, and we start out in a squat, hunting people down."

But the (sorta) pleasantries end there, as M.I.A. went on to land another jab against Gaga. "All I'll say is, it's upsetting when babies say 'ga-ga' now," the British/Sri Lankan artist told the magazine. "It used to be innocent. Now, they're calling her name."

She said she gets annoyed when LG is praised for her originality — saying she mostly borrows from ABBA — and positively livid when her rival is compared to Madonna.

"You can't really say that Gaga is culturally a change," she said. "Madonna was truly unique."

Of course, in the same feature, M.I.A.'s pal — and "Born Free" director — Romain Gavras gets far nastier, joking to the Times' Lynn Hirschberg that "Madonna was pretty. ... Pop stars should be pretty."

M.I.A. explained that she and Gavras had originally intended to shoot the "Born Free" clip on the U.S.-Mexican border, but ultimately had to move production to Los Angeles because, as she put it, "Interscope won." And she told Hirschberg that she purposely avoided showing the completed video to the folks at the label (to which both she and Gaga are signed) because "the Interscope lawyers will want to send [it] to a censorship board." (Of course, Interscope head Jimmy Iovine told the Times that not only did he see the video, but that it "was more than fine with me. ... I didn't even have a blink.")

Building on that concept, M.I.A. said she's planning a stage show based entirely on censorship, with the audience's every move monitored and recorded, and individuals singled out and asked to leave if they violate certain rules.

"I want to be like the government," she said. "It could be interesting."

Which video do you prefer, Lady Gaga's "Telephone" or M.I.A.'s "Born Free"? Tell us why in the comments.


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