M.I.A. has been in the news an awful lot in the past week, but it’s not because of her excellent new single “Born Free,” the controversial video for said track or her hotly-anticipated album ///Y/. Rather, she has been on the lips of music fans and media followers alike, as her feud with writer Lynn Hirschberg has continued to escalate. Following what she thought was an unfair profile in The New York Times, M.I.A. tweeted Hirschberg’s personal phone number last week. And just to let everybody know that she means business, M.I.A. released the dis track “I’m a Singer” over the weekend.
Here’s the thing: Not only is “I’m a Singer” a pretty weak track (both as a dis and as an M.I.A. song), but it’s also totally unnecessary. Hirschberg has no real recourse (she has already called M.I.A.’s tweeting of her phone number “unprofessional” and “unethical”), and, ultimately, she’s just a writer. There’s no need for a beatdown.
In fact, in extending the feud a few extra days (and however much it cost to record “I’m a Singer”), M.I.A. has jumped onto the list of the lamest celebrity feuds of all time. Like M.I.A., some of those pit musicians against the media (remember The Source co-owner Benzino’s lame jabs at Eminem early in his career?), while others are over disagreements over the actual work (Ice-T calling Soulja Boy’s music “garbage” or former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker’s limp protest against Michael Jackson’s “Christ-like” poses during the 1996 BRIT Awards). Sometimes it’s about family (the constant dust-up between Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain) and sometimes it’s out of left field (Lynyrd Skynyrd took offense to Neil Young’s “Southern Man,” which lead to “Sweet Home Alabama” and a general sense of mutual respect). Sometimes it’s even about patriotism, like when Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines criticized George W. Bush and the war in Iraq, which prompted Toby Keith to absolutely lose his mind (he famously used a doctored photo of Maines standing next to Saddam Hussein as a backdrop during concerts).
Which celebrity feud do you think is the lamest? Let us know in the comments!