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Mary J. Blige Singing To Hillary Clinton About Police Brutality Is As Awesome(ly Horrible) As It Sounds.

I’m going to say something that’s slightly controversial: Mary J. Blige ain’t the best at singing. I’ve said this before. In fact the last time I said this publicly, I received this message in my FB inbox:

Aye retarded down syndrome looking faggot did you really just try to convince people that Mary Jane Blige the legend and one of the greatest female vocalist of all time can’t sing 2 decades later? That was a fail. I see why your shitty blog don’t get no traffic or recognition lol no one with common sense will ever believe you dummy. You typed out all that bs and didn’t get no press. Everyone is saying you was smoking crack when you made that list. Everyone on that list got more talent in there pinky than you have in your whole body u shitty breath faggot. That’s why they rich and you broke lol broke fag

That’s a real message by the way.

Anyway, while Mary J. Blige ain’t exactly the best singer she is a legend. And I’m okay with that. The problem is, Mary gets asked to use her singing voice for things. Sometimes it goes terrible but is comedic in the most hilarious fashion. That Burger King commercial where she’s singing about chicken? That shit kinda goes. And at the VERY least, it cracked 100 on the unintentional comedy meter.

Unfortunately, on the OTHER end of the spectrum we have this recent promo for Mary J. Blige’s new show on Apple Music, The 411, a throwback title if you’re a fan of cracked-out Mary that you can appreciate while still feeling like its soooo cliché. Also, has anybody actually dialed 411 since the Internet became a thing? I can hear people under-25 right now wondering what in the hell “411” means.

In the one-minute promo video, Mary J. Blige is singing what can only be described as something she should have just said to Hillary Clinton because her take is one of the most cringeworthy singing of songs (can you call it a song? sung poem? what the fuck do we call it when people sing words they should just say?) I’ve heard in a good long while. [EDIT: She is singing part of Bruce Springsteen’s song “American Skin (41 Shots)”, a tribute to Amadou Diallo. She should stop.] It reminds me of that time my cousin wrote a poem/song and sang it at my great-grandfather’s funeral, which to that point had been a pretty somber occasion until she got up on the microphone. Thank goodness we were at a funeral so its hard to differentiate laughs from crying because all of us who were pallbearers had to put our heads down to stifle the laughter. Seriously, we’re talking a top 10 funeral moment ever. Also, Funeral Top 10 moments aren’t a thing.

Also, what the fuck is American skin, Mary? Who paid for this? Who greenlit this? I’m sure the show will be fine. This promo? Not so much.

The real champion of the short clip is Hillary Clinton who has put on her most serious political face ever. Look, you and I both know she was holding it together with every fiber of her being. She wanted to laugh. Anybody sitting in that position would laugh; I don’t give a shit if it was Mary J. Blige singing or Whitney Houston. In fact, the only person who could sing those shenanigans in earnest would be Alicia Keys, who most certainly would not be wearing makeup at the time. But Hills holds its together and listens intently as if what Mary is singing is both pivotal and listenable. It’s neither.

It should just be said.

In fact, if you were to tell me that Mary was trolling Hillary I’d believe you. So let me get this right, she’s supposed to listen to you sing this pseudo-heartfelt-song about police brutality with THOSE glasses on and not laugh? I’m sure they’re fashionable but we’re asking a lot here. With that my first Casio keyboard riff in the background? They really put Hillary in a precarious position there. If she laughs, she’s laughing about a serious subject so she just had to sit there and listen and then Mary grabs her hand and you know Hillary almost yelled out “OH COME ON”.

The good thing is that for all of you who have been looking for that one song to really explain your feelings to sing to white people, now you have it. Just make sure you grab their hands when you get to “American skin.” I think thats what makes it resonate.

Pretty sure.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Oh my goodness. Thank you for making me laugh at this. Because when I first saw it…I just got angry and checked out. Like…I wished I could crawl out of my flesh…Just hearing and seeing this interaction made me feel sullied.

  • cyanic

    Mary J Blige is critical of Mary J Blige. She cringes when she listens to older recordings of herself because she didn’t sing properly then. But she has improved enough where I can’t continue on the she can’t sing train.

  • HoobaStankyLeg

    This is something that should have been sung on Sesame Street. It’s one of those songs that teaches you how to cross a street or brush your teeth…..Oh, and it’s off-putting, let’s not forget that.

  • Asiyah

    I snorted loudly at work and I’m not talking about c*caine!

  • RhetoricalReverie

    This was soooo awkward to watch! Have you ever had a person sing to you? It gets weird fast, as exhibited on Hillary’s face.

    Sidenote: I really dig those glasses, but her bangs tucked into them is really annoying me. Also that message should not have been so funny, but he is BIG mad. I didn’t realize people were still stanning for Mary in 2016.

    • Man…one time a man I was talking to for….oh 5.8 days sang “I Am Ready For Love” by India.Arie to me…and I hated him for it. I STILL hate him for that. It’s the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in the beginning stages of a romantic fling.

      • RhetoricalReverie

        I had a high school boyfriend who sang to me all the time and I had to stop myself from throat chopping him consistently.

        • That relationship would not have lasted for me. I don’t even like people singing to OTHER people…that’s how uncomfortable it makes me. *shudders*

      • cakes_and_pies

        Someone sang “Happy Birthday” to me in a club while “H*o Sit Down” was blaring in the background.

        • I rebuke EVERY rendition of “Happy Birthday” ever. The original sounds like the saddest song that every happened, and the “Stevie Wonder” black people remix just makes me cringe with all it’s forced joy. I hate that song. Just…say happy birthday, present me with my flaming cake, let me blow out the candles and let’s move forward.

          • KeyBrad

            I always sing the Stevie version on my friends voicemail. I wonder if they hate me for it.

            • I would. :( I would have told you to never do it again.

              • KeyBrad

                LOL! Well its normally Lionel Richie on a regular day.

            • Aye Bee

              Lol. I do too, but make sure to mix in my own lyrics about them…lol

            • brothaskeeper

              I prefer the Luke version to sing/be sung to me.

              • Vitianagary

                I prefer the 50 cent version myself… especially when MY DAD requested it for his 55th birthday… what a hilarious mess… smh

          • yesss

            lmao! agreed!

          • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

            I thought I was the only one who couldn’t take the Stevie Wonder version. I told one of my sisters I’d stop talking to her if she kept singing it to me. I hate attention so even regular Happy Birthday makes me want to crawl in a hole and I think, ‘Lord help me if I ever get married. Just give me pastor a dank room, four minutes and let me leave!’

      • Jae Starz

        Ugh! Why is that the most uncomfortable feeling ever?! Please dont sing to me. I don’t know what to do with myself.

      • LMNOP

        That is really weird. Kind of nice when someone is that upfront about how incredibly fucking weird they are though.

      • LOL This scenario is killing me. Because that song is SO intense… it’s not even just regular awkward, it’s extra so. He really needed you to know that, girl. Now Twi, tell me what is enough… to prove I am ready… -stares off into sunset- for love…?

        • LMAO it was awful! AND he didn’t even have a good singing voice to top off the awkward sundae.

      • Blueberry01

        Girl, I feel you.

        One time I went to karaoke with a male friend from undergrad. I guess he felt differently because he sang, “If I Ever Fall In Love” by Shai and dedicated the song to a friend who came from far away (I had flew to L.A. from NY.)

        ?

    • panamajackson

      Who is big mad? Oh…the dude who sent me the message. Yeah. Listen. I laughed so hard.

      • Whoever wrote you that angry message.

      • RhetoricalReverie

        The person who wrote you the message. I assumed he because I don’t know too many women who use fa gg ot so freely.

      • Janelle Doe

        Srsly. No way that could get under your skin it leaves itself so wide open for further commentary. Wow.

    • Yeah those tucked bangs had me like…wayment?

    • QueenAT

      I recently had had someone sing to me, by request, and it got awkward fast. I asked for Father I Stretch My Hands (Part 1), but…

      apparently he doesn’t know Kanye.

    • Brass Tacks

      He is suppose to give you TWO lines, max. And only the part that he can really nail. You never sing the entire damb verse.

      For example: When I hit a cut off Donnell Jones (Awesome) album, I give a little bit. Just to titillate,

      “Said I wanna…Love you every…”

      Or, Chris Browns’ “Yo (Excuse me, Miss)”

      “And I got to admit that you got my attention, you make me wanna say, Yooooooo.”

      Smh…Freaking amateurs.

    • I am one of those people still stanning for Mary in 2016. There are many among us. I wish you knew what you were missing out on. Actually.

      I don’t.

      • RhetoricalReverie

        But Andie, you seem like a really classy stan, ya know. I see you down-thread trying to get constructive feedback for your girl!

    • Cleojonz

      I could not make myself finish watching this. I just don’t even understand why this exists lol.

      • RhetoricalReverie

        I had second-hand embarassment

    • NonyaB

      Nawl. Those glasses are almost as big as her head. Nice style but too big. But then, Mayreh was never known for normal or conservative style.

      Agree on the people singing to you thing; I too, now realize why I quickly got irritated with the tryna-date-me ninja that tried it. Eugh. Maybe I’d love it from someone else though; I just didn’t like his singing voice.

      • RhetoricalReverie

        I love big glasses! I’m often to be found looking like Carrie Donovan in these streets.

        Nope, its awkward. Don’t do it! Reconsider!

  • TJ

    I’m here for Mary J. Walters personally. C’mon Mary Lauer!

    You think Hillary got on some over-the-knee boots under the pants suit?

    What’s the 411? was a classic. Heck, the remix album was a classic.

    • LOL staaaaahhhp!

    • NonyaB

      CTFU @ “C’mon Mary Lauer!”

  • Mika

    Bring back cracked out Mary! She made good music. Hopefully we get a taste of her when her divorce is finalized. But this, Nah.

  • This didn’t make me laugh or cringe or feel awkward. I thought it was cool. But. I also REALLY love Mary. Now if that was Alicia……

    • panamajackson

      I’m glad you do. Could you tell her its okay not to sing. Most of us dont really say to ourselves, “we need ot hear mary sing today” anyway. She can just talk.

  • Val

    I’m over 25 and I forgot what 411 meant for a second there. Lol Yeah, Mary isn’t the best singer but that’s never been her thing. It was the emotion in her voice that people liked. Same with AK. Yeah, I threw that in there.

    That letter tho. Lol It’s so typical of the social media age. And if that person met you irl, PJ, I bet they’d smile in your face.

    Mary singing to Hill. No words.

    • La_Dee_Da

      Could you imagine if she broke out in dance to really convey her emotions?

      • Don’t you do this. Don’t you put that in my head. *fights air*

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        This made me cackle, out loud. Got a quick glimpse of what that might look like.

      • LMNOP

        And then Hilary joined her and they struggle danced together. That would be amazing.

  • Chaud_et_Froid

    The song she’s singing is “American Skin” by Bruce Springsteen lol. It’s about 15 yrs old now

    • Tange

      Well that’s definitely good to know

    • Cheech

      It’s about the execution of Amadou Diallo.

      • Chaud_et_Froid

        Yes, you are correct

        • Cheech

          I havent listened to Mary’s version yet (currently sitting in a place where they’re blasting Joy Division), but police brutality is still a subject on which HRC needs education. She’s learned the words “systemic racism,” but she’s still trying to get “all lives matter” votes.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Joy Division, so problematic

            • Cheech

              I was never into them, but i enjoyed lunch.

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