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Rapper MIA denied entry into USA
15th May, 2006

London rapper M.I.A. has been denied a visa to visit or work in the USA by immigration officials, AIM magazine has learnt.

Sources close to the British Sri-Lankan MC said that her lawyers are frantically trying to resolve the situation. No one from her record company had returned messages to comment at the time of publication.

But she has confirmed the situation on her Myspace website with a blog entry posted on 7th April titled: 'They Try Shut My Door!'.

It states: "Roger roger do you here me over!!!! the U.S immigration wont let me in!!!!! i was mennu work with timber startin this week, but now im doin a Akon "im locked out they wont let me in" im locked out! they wont let me in! Now Im strictly making my album outside the borders!!!!

"so il see you all one day, for now ill keep reportin from the sidelines. to my people who walk wiv me in the America, dont forget we got the internet! Spread the word! or come get me!!!!!! ill be in my bird flu lab in china! liming and drinkin tiger beer with my pet turtel.

"I love everyone for the support, now i need it more. ill stay up spread out else where."

It is unclear exactly why the artist, real name Maya Arulpragasam, who rose to stardom with her debut album Arular, is being denied entry into America. Sources close to the rapper told AIM it may have something to do with her lyrics.

She attracted controversy with her song lyrics, particularly of Sunshowers, because it allegedly expresses vague support for the terrorist organisation LTTE, which is banned in the USA. MTV USA refused to play the video without a disclaimer against the lyrics.

She has said in previous interviews that her father was involved in Sri Lankan politics.

Maya came to the UK aged 11 when her family fled war-torn Sri Lanka, later gaining a place at the prestigious Central St Martin's College of Art and Design in London. She became involved in the music scene while doing CD front covers.

Despite her strong London links, she has become so popular in the United States that last year Interscope Records signed her up. She even featured on Missy Elliot's album and other Hip-hop artists including Kanye West were said to be queuing up to work with her.

She is hoping to get back to the USA as soon as US immigration will allow for a collaboration with producer Timbaland on her next album.

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