Grimes Talks 'Drama' Surrounding Her Politics, Claims She Was Never an 'Avowed Communist'

In a video posted to TikTok last month, Grimes explained some of her controversial views surrounding AI and communism. The clip resulted in heated debate, backlash, and intense media coverage, with many critiquing her apparent change in politics over the past several years.

Now, the musician has come forward with a new video, in an attempt to "give some context" with respect to misinterpretations of her political views and sense of humor.

The Canadian singer, also known for her relationship with Tesla billionaire and space-enthusiast Elon Musk, suggested in her initial video that "A.I is actually the fastest path to communism"—a notion that many pointed out has already been theorized by others, like Aaron Bastani in his 2018 book, Fully Automated Luxury Communism.

Viewers argued that she missed the mark with her analysis of communism and artificial intelligence, especially considering that any type of communism, by definition, requires the redistribution of wealth—a fact that appears ironically at odds with her own position, as the partner of one of the richest people on the planet.

Moreover, viewers, some citing an image from her high school yearbook in which she quotes Joseph Stalin, seemed frustrated at Grimes for appearing to abandon the presumed leftist politics of her youth.

Bruh what Grimes quoted Stalin in her year book? pic.twitter.com/e07tbOSG68

— biri (@lesinema) February 21, 2020

In Grimes' follow-up video, posted on Tuesday, she addresses some of the controversies by explaining the context of that now-viral yearbook photo.

"I'm sure many of you guys have noticed the online narrative that I used to be an avowed communist and I have betrayed the comrades, as it were," she begins, the aforementioned yearbook image behind her. "Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the soviet union [sic]," reads Grimes' senior quote, attributed to Joseph Stalin.

Grimes goes on to explain that she was "really, really obsessed with the Soviet Union in high school," and that she intended to use the quote as a critique of her school's administration—not a declaration of her political stance.

According to Grimes, after a new principal took charge when she was in Year 11, the school painted over murals decorating the campus and expelled several of the so-called "worst" students, many of whom were her "best friends."

@grimes

Part 1 - ok… I’ll start addressing the excessive dramas slowly - gives me anxiety but.. here we are. Love y’all #communism #drama etc haha

♬ Calm LoFi song(882353) - S_R

"A lot of those people were very smart," she says, adding that many were struggling with mental health issues or having a hard time at home.

"I don't know if people know this about me, but...a lot of those people actually ended up dying from drug-related causes, or mental health-related causes," she explains. "This is one of the big traumas of my life....I've lost a lot of my best friends."

Bringing it back to the initial controversy, she clarifies that the "quote was not an endorsement of communism."

Grimes
Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes in 2019. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

"I was sort of...making a dark joke, comparing my school to the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin," she explains. "That the freedom of creativity was being oppressed, and people were being sent to the gulag for not conforming."

She added: "Stalin...murdered millions of people in the gulags and in World War II and...I think there actually are redeeming qualities about communism, but Stalin is not one of them."

At the end of her video, Grimes notes that she plans on making a follow-up to further explain her "admittedly very confusing politics," writing in the caption that she will "start addressing the excessive dramas slowly"—though another clip has yet to be posted. So far, the video has been viewed over 700,000 times.