On Monday, a video of Mary J. Blige awkwardly serenading Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton surfaced—and the memes shortly after. The snippet made clear that a more in-depth interview, hosted by the singer, was coming later, which Apple Music released today.
The two sat down in San Francisco for Blige’s new show, The 411, and discussed everything from faith to police brutality and how their moms molded them into strong women. No word on what Clinton may or may not do to fix the epidemic of hateration in the dancerie, but, in between the varying topics, we do get to revisit Blige’s rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “American Skin”—a relevant, heartfelt song, which was written in response to the 1999 shooting of 23-year-old Amadou Diallo.
The duo cover a lot of political ground, and you can read the cliff notes version below. Or, you can watch the full segment—and Clinton’s lengthy take on gun violence—above.
On the public perceptions of her: “I think some of the misperception is manufactured and some of it I take responsibility for. Maybe I’m not communicating clear enough what I care about and what I do. But I try to get up every day and make a difference in somebody’s life, and I’m very grateful that I’ve had this chance to do just that over the years.”
On her faith: “I’ve been in lots of difficult situations, and I find that falling back on my faith, relying on my faith, looking for those moments of grace is what can get me out of the bed in the morning and keep me going no matter what’s happening around me. Being a person of faith has sustained me over the course of my life.”
On being a grandmother: “It’s the best thing ever! It’s transformative… it’s very life-affirming, and it’s also a reminder about how important it is that we stay focused on the future. We have to do what we can to support our own children and grandchildren but also every child deserves a chance… to live up to their God-given potential.”
On what she would say to those choosing to not vote: “First off, I’d say, 'I’m sorry you feel that way and I don’t pretend to know all of the reasons but let me tell you what you are sacrificing by failing to vote: you are basically abdicating the most important right that any citizen has. That people fought and died for… think about all those who came before who recognized the critical importance of people voting… If you don’t vote, you leave the field to people who don’t agree with you on anything.'”
On what should be done about the onslaught of recent violence: “I think we’ve got to be honest that there needs to be a greater opening of our hearts to one another… We need to do better training and work with our police so that they don’t immediately draw the wrong conclusions and that they learn better ways to de-escalate tension and violence rather than to escalate and perhaps cause a death… We’ve got to do a better job to improve relations between police and the communities they serve. You should have people respect the law and the law should respect people.”