M.I.A. Will Overthrow the System by Marrying Into It

Alex Carnevale · 11/19/08 11:15AM

You knew the engagement of hip-hop artist M.I.A. and musician Benjamin Brewer — son of mogul Edgar Bronfman Jr. — would yield plenty of hilarity, but this? Since her 2007 album Kala launched her from rising star into actual pop songstress (we blame Pineapple Express for introducing her to Judd Apatow fans), M.I.A. has been trying to emphasize that she doesn't just sip wine at fancy parties, as when she dissed New York for its lack of gun violence compared to her war-torn childhood in Sri Lanka. Maya, we urge you, just let the music speak for itself. Quotes from a recent Spin interview in this morning's New York Post suggest she should have quit while she was ahead.When it comes to her inner turmoil between her anti-establishment roots and the decadent wealth of her her new in-laws-to-be, M.I.A. explains how exactly she reconciles the two: "I've always had that [bleep]-the-system mentality, and his dad is so 'the system.' But then, they're the most liberal family - they bootlegged alcohol, for God's sake. They're rich because they threw big, illegal parties, so I don't mind." She's referring, of course, to the Bronfman's old old family business, liquor company Seagram. So basically the system is awesome when it's netting her $100,000 to play MTV after parties, but otherwise, she's still an iconoclast. Oy. We love the music, but does she know she's making herself harder to like?

Bronfman sucks up to Steve Jobs

Mary Jane Irwin · 11/15/07 04:58PM

Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman, in a startling change of heart, proclaimed that the music industry is, at least partly, to blame for its current woes, mentioning something about a misplaced war with consumers. With that off his chest, Bronfman launched into a full-fledged groveling routine, proclaiming Apple's iTunes store a paragon of digital music. He went on and on, praising the genius of selling individual tracks, the user interface, and billing platform. Bronfman even threw unnecessary praise towards the iPhone — like we need to hear from a music guy what makes for a good cell phone. Why all the posterior-smooching? Bronfman is realizing that tough talk isn't helping it get out of "indecent" pricing schemes when it comes time to renew Warner's contract with Apple.

Edgar Bronfman cops to creating file-sharing menace

Mary Jane Irwin · 11/14/07 06:10PM

Warner Music CEO and antipiracy crusader Edgar Bronfman has admitted that the recording industry shares some of the blame for the proliferation of file sharing. "We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding," he said at a mobile conference in Asia. "We were wrong." No, really? Bronfman relayed how the music business's "glacial" adoption of the digital era inadvertently started a war by denying consumers what they wanted. One would think Bronfman, an entrepreneur, would have realized all this a little sooner. But then again, the music business has never actually been about pleasing the customer.