Earlier this week, a promotional snippet from Mary J. Blige’s sit-down with Hillary Clinton started making its rounds online. Unfortunately the seasoned R&B veteran was met with criticism for her decision to sing a cappella during the interview.
Later responding to criticism, the singer explained that she chose to recite lyrics from Bruce Springsteen's 2000 single “American Skin (41 Shots)" because the song resonated with her. The now sixteen-year-old single was written and recorded as a reaction to the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, and its themes of heartache in response to police brutality are still extremely relevant in our country today.
“The lyrics resonated with me so deeply and so heavily, because of all of the shootings and the police brutality, and I never got a chance to say anything,” Blige explained to those who misunderstood her decision to sing during the interview. “So I got an opportunity to do an interview with Hillary Clinton, and somebody like me don’t ever get an opportunity like that, ever.”
She also added that her being a journalist, as part of her new show on Apple Music, is still very new territory for her, so singing is how she best knows to make an impact. As seen in the context of the interview in full, the song made for a perfect transition to ask the difficult question of “where do we go from here” after experiencing injustice after injustice.
Clinton and Blige have an honest conversation about the subject of police brutality, saying that America must embrace a “greater opening of our hearts,” especially those who are white and not yet “part of the solution.”
During the 30-minute-long interview, both women discuss everything from police brutality to their faith to their different experiences being a female in the spotlight.
Take a look at the in-depth conversation between these two powerful women in full during the video clip below.
(Photo: Apple Music)