The internet has a way of introducing us to the funny and not-so-funny world of social media. Recently, in my Facebook timeline I was able to get a glimpse of the 10 sec clip of Mary J. Blige singing to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In the world of social media everything is readily available for viewing.
When I saw this video, I couldn’t help but to laugh and then think, why was Mary J, singing to Hillary? Of course, the comments on the video were insane and the memes were funny but Mary J. explains to a room of nine journalists, why her singing to Hillary is not a laughing matter.
Blige was introduced to the song, “American Skin” (41 shots) by Bruce Springsteen by friend Jimmy Lovine, after a conversation they were having about police brutality. The song was written in reaction to the shooting death of Amadou Diallo- from the perspective of an African American mother. Blige was so moved by the lyrics that she wanted to incorporated them into her interview with Clinton. So she did the first thing that came natural, and that was sing the song to Clinton. Although she is adding the title of journalist to her repertoire, she is a songstress first.
In an interview with Essence magazine, she states: “The lyrics impacted me so heavily and so deeply, they made me cry. They are like a prayer that I needed” says Blige, “I wanted Ms. Clinton to be impacted the same way, so the only way I could get that reaction from her was to sing it. I sang that song without warming up, I hit the iPad and just sang. It was organic. I think she felt it.”
However, Blige decided to make it happen, she brought an issue to the forefront. An issue that the Presidential candidates have been quiet on since the beginning of the election cycle, a real solution to the continuous killings of unarmed African American men by law enforcement.
Blige doesn’t want you to squander your voting rights away. “There are so many people saying they don’t want to vote, for her or for Donald Trump, so having people see someone like me interviewing Hillary Clinton, I hope it will provoke them to go vote” she says.
The upcoming election in November is a very serious one and we need to take these matters seriously!!!!
If you haven’t already, check out the 411 with Mary J. Blige, streaming now on Apple Music.
-Kerri L. Hill