Mary J. Blige Dancing At The Bad Boy Reunion Tour Is The Blackest Thing That Ever Happened This Week » VSB

blackest thing, Featured, Pop Culture

Mary J. Blige Dancing At The Bad Boy Reunion Tour Is The Blackest Thing That Ever Happened This Week

The concept of being unapologetically Black ultimately boils down to a Black person being — or, at least, striving to be — their best self. And believing that this best self includes and doesn’t exclude or contradict with a shameless and unabashed embrace of Blackness. Admittedly, the journey to unapologetic Blackness as a Black American isn’t an easy one. There are many factors — structural racism, socialized default Whiteness, Kappas at happy hours, etc — in place to prevent that very thing from happening. Which makes the path particularly arduous but the destination especially sweet.

But if you need help in the form of a visual representation of how this looks, think of Mary J. Blige “dancing” at the Bad Boy Reunion Tour.

One of the keys of this embrace of unapologetic Blackness is letting go of any preconceived notion of how Blackness is supposed to be and/or look. For instance, Black people are supposed to be able to dance. But this hasn’t deterred Mary J. from doing what she thinks is dancing in very public spaces for almost 25 years; effectively being the real-life version of who Elaine Benes would be if she grew up in Harlem.

And if a professional performing artist can do this for three decades and still give negative infinity fucks about it, it’s a heartening thing for dancing-deficient Black people (read: Black people like me) to witness.

They say dance like no one is watching. Well, to be unapologetically Black is to dance like you’re Mary J. Blige and 50,000 people are watching.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • NICUGRAD2016

    Mary dances like your drunk aunt at the 4th of July cookout. Lol God love her!

    • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

      And sings like her too!

      • Sherry Mendoza

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!te267urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !te267u:?:?:.?.?.?.? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsPressGetPay-Hour$98…. .????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!te267u….,….

      • Dougie


  • KingsCounty

    I was just tweeting about how hasn’t the #MaryJDance not gone viral yet.
    It’s perfect, and she can have a whole rebirth on the Internet. Then wypipo will figure it out and it’ll be over. But till then, this needs to be a thing like Jordan cry face. It’s unstoppable. It’s magical. It’s when aunt Deb had two many wrey n nephews and her and uncle scooter bout to either go in the bathroom for 30 min or get into a fist fight that will end with questions about the paternity of cousin skeete.

    • cakes_and_pies

      You can find some on vine, but she is the best one

    • Glockenspiel

      Wrey and Nephew is the devil in it’s purest form…..

  • Melanie Celeste

    Where is the GIF? Someone has got to make one.

    • brothaskeeper

      Look upthread.

      • You’re such a giver!

        • brothaskeeper

          Mrs. BK says the same…heh heh heh (<<<<<James Evans laugh).

          • _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

          • Tambra

            You need Jesus.

            • brothaskeeper

              He knows my heart.

      • Melanie Celeste

        Thank you!

  • CharcharLDN

    1. This is how I aspire to dance. This whole post is out of Envy on Damon’s part
    2. Bad Boy renion tour OMG, Come to London!

  • All these years and millions later and MJB refuses to hire a choreographer.. where’s Lori Anne when you need her?

    That dry heaving convulsion thing is old.

    • Taylor Garrett

      And so is your hateration. Sit down.

    • Ess Tee

      Yeah, but Mary was never a dancing azz performer to begin with.

      • Yeah I get it….but if she spent money on vocal lessons to perfect her craft and performing ability invest that in choreography as well…

        • Kas

          Don’t hurt em

        • She don’t need no vocal lessons. She can hollar and it’s beautiful mami

          • She had vocal lessons before she released one of her albums… it was a good look.


              Thank you for the information Sister.

        • Niecy

          …this is what she sounds like AFTER vocal lessons?

      • I love the new thumbnail.. pretty smile, lady!

        • Ess Tee

          Thanks, mama! That, my dear, is the face of someone who took the day off from work and was acting like Ferris Bueller in the city.

          What I’m saying is: I was happy as heyll when I took that pic lol.

  • Kas

    No more Sunday columns trolling the trolls I guess.

    • Tambra

      You like to see the world burn

      • Kas

        Pretty much

        • Tambra

          Aite, continue.

          • Kas

            Taking one of your, ever so many, study breaks?

            • Tambra

              Been at it since 10 this morning. Plus I do bursts and breaks. I cant do several hours on end.

  • elle

    My mouth automatically twisted in skepticism of Damon’s statements. It wasn’t that baaad. If MJB ever stomps around a stage looking like Kanye in grey sweatpants, then she’ll have a problem.

  • Tee
  • cyanic

    Mary never shies away from dancing. Her unapologetic blackness is her default setting as a human being.

  • J Adisa

    “…Kappas at happy hours…”

    Explain, please.

    • Jennifer

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