Once upon a time, Western Union hired singers between gigs to deliver telegrams that were sung to the recipients. The company discontinued its singing telegram service in 1974 — which was coincidentally the year in which entertainer Mary J. Blige (pronounced “bilge,” I think) turned three. Although she was too young to have been hired, I believe I can say in all fairness, after having suffered through a trailer for her Sept. 30 singing interview with Hillary Clinton, that she would have been passed over had she applied for work.
Blige’s entire one-on-one with the Democratic nominee for president will be featured on Apple Music’s “The 411,” and about the kindest thing that can be said about it is that it’s novel.
Here’s the trailer video, if you dare:
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) September 27, 2016
According to Elizabeth Hagedorn writing at the wesbite Beta, the interview is being billed as an “intimate conversation” between Blige and Clinton, though in the video, Clinton just sits nodding silently.
When I first saw reports of this media event, I had expected that social justice warriors would have only praise for Blige’s “davening” (look it up), but the notices on Twitter have been anything but kind, even among blacks:
That Mary J Blige/Hillary Clinton commercial is so cringeworthy & I felt secondhand embarrassment.
— Cole Turner's wife (@WickedBeaute) September 27, 2016
I was looking out for a "directed by Tyler Perry" at the end of that Mary J Blige and Hilary Clinton interview ad
— dutty bwoi (@Yaawdie_) September 27, 2016
Bruh. Mary J Blige singing to Hillary Clinton about police brutality was THE ABSOLUTE most awkward 30 seconds of my life
— Marvin Barnes (@HumbleTeej) September 27, 2016
I would be remiss if I didn’t include Blige’s reaction in the form of a tweet, which she has since deleted but remains in archival form:
Class with a capital “K.”