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Ever the rebel, UK artist M.I.A. got some radical help in opening her performance at New York City’s Terminal 5, employing wanted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a guest speaker. Assange appeared on screen via Skype, much to the surprise and awe of the crowd.
Assange and M.I.A. are no strangers to each other, Assange helped the artist promote her Vicki Leekx mixtape, inspired by the 2010 WikiLeaks controversy, a year ago, with M.I.A. returning the favour by contributing music to Assange’s TV program, The World Tomorrow.
While Assange is under lockdown in London, M.I.A. is gearing up to release her long-awaited fourth studio album, Matangi, slated for Australian release this Monday. The artist is currently embroiled in a controversy over a stunt pulled at the NFL SuperBowl, in which she flipped off a camera.
In the talk Assange describes M.I.A. as “the most courageous woman working in Western music” and laments the fact that he can only appear via Skype from London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, because, as he tells the assembled crowd, “Your government sucks.”
Watch: Julian Assange Opens M.I.A.’s Terminal 5, NYC Show