Transcript for Mary J. Blige on empowering women in music
once again that she’s a woman of many talents by playing a bad-ass hitwoman and contributing some hit songs to the wild new Netflix series “The umbrella academy.” J. Blige. ??? Now, the song you walked out to is our theme song and you sang it for us and we were there shooting the video and you were so wonderful. And it was hot in the room. I don’t know if you remember that. Yes. It was brutal. I got stuck in the elevator. It was a horrendous day for me but a great day for us because you were there. Yes, we had fun. One hot topic last week, we were talking about people on social media trying to pit cardi B and Nicki Minaj against each other. You’re obviously an incredible influential legend in the music industry. What’s your take on people trying to pit women together in that industry? I think it’s negative because we’ve suffered enough amongst a male dominated society, male dominated business and we suffer enough amongst each other. So when you see us trying to do something, at least try to bring us together, like at least try to lift us up together. I think that it’s best that we continue to lift each other up. It’s enough everything for everyone, so why can’t cardi win the grammy best, you know, hip-hop grammy of the year, and why can’t she? It’s enough for everyone Why can’t she have her moment. Yeah. A birdie told us you’ve got some new music coming out. Yeah. We’re very excited about that. Your music is inspirational and powerful and your love for women and to your point of building each other up, that came well before you became mous. Where did that passion come from? Growing up and I saw women treated horribly. As a kid I saw so many bad things and I lived in the project. Door you can hear everyone arguing, everyone fighting, and I used to hear this woman just screaming for her life. I used to walk outside and see women being beaten. You know, my was, you know, touched by that as well. I just, you know, as a kid, I was like I can’t — I don’t want to ever see another woman hurt again. Then I grew up and became the woman that was abused and became the woman that was hurt. So I guess, you know, in order to teach or inspire someone you have to become the thing so they can see you come out of it. So I had to — because of my environment I had to be — I became that battered woman or that woman that didn’t care about herself. I became that woman. Then I grew, you know. Good for you. And look at you now. Look at you now. Yes, yes. So I guess you’re happy to have celebrated airthday — what was it, last month? Thank you. Happy belated birthday to you. Thank you. I don’t know the number. I won’t say it. But you took a trip with your girlfriends and you posted these pictures along with the caption, living my best bleeping life. Look at you. I don’t know how old you are but they said — the producers told me to say that women in their 40s are in their prime, so I’m assuming you’re somewhere in there, is that it? I’m definitely in my prime right now. I’m not worried about nothing. I mean, I wasn’t afraid to wear a bathing suit. I was running around in nothing but bat suits. We were in loss Cabos by the way. Me and my girlfriends, we had a blast. We turned upside down.ke wear your bathing suits and enjoy your life and I did. I’m enjoying my life, freedom. You should. Last year you had a great birthday too. You finally got your star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Yes. You’ve been around a long time and you’re an icon. We all know that. People really respond to you. Did that mean a lot to you to get that? It took too long to get that star. Yes. At that moment it meant a lot to me because I was going through a lot. I was coming through a horrible divorce and at that moment it meant a lot to G rewarded for just a lot of hard work, suffering, suffering in front of the whole world, you know, and suffering in silence and behind closed doors. I was working really, really hard and someone saying you deserve this Hollywood star — this walk of fame star. Yeah, it meant a lot. Congratulations. Thank you. I loved seeing your acting career. We were talking about it backstage. You’re playing an assassin named cha-cha. Yes. Which is my childhood nickname actually. In your new show “The umbrella academy” on Netflix. I love this series. Please tell everyone what it’s about. It’s like superhero and Harry potter. It’s so good. It’s about these 43 women who get pregnant all over the world, women. Like sitting here we all get pregnant. You get pregnant on the and you have the baby on the spot, those 43 women. So sir Reginald Hargreaves who is the illustrator, a ire illustrator, he adopts seven of them and he adopts them to form this organization called the umbrella academy and they’re going to save the world from the apocalypse. He raises them and at some point when they become teenagers they all separate and go their separate ways. Then he dies and then they come back to find out who killed him. So we come in to look for one of them. That’s one of us. A time travel assassin who escaped the job. He comes back as a young person and we come back as young people trying to kill him. Trying to get him. Our job is to aassassinate. Cha-cha is a murderer with no conscience. She doesn’t care about life, death, nothing but just murdering people and that’s who my character is. She’s kind of funny too. You know why she’s so funny, because she’s so serious about her job and get the job done and kill this person and murder this person. She’s good though. It’s funny. We have a clip, take a look. Damn it, hazel. I know. We don’t get that case back soon we’re screwed. We wouldn’t be if you stuck to protocol and carried the briefcase. If you carried it once in a while we wouldn’t have that problem to begin with. You’re suffering in silence now. El you want to do this now? We barely out alive last time. I’ll do some digging on the family while you go look for that junky. Let’s get our briefcase. Fine. You’re having so much fun acting. Oh man, I’m having a ball. I love it. It’s something that I enjoy doing like I get to transfer all these living emotions and all these living situations into something or someone that’s not living and make it real, you know. It’s another place — it’s another place for therapy for me. You’re also working with the recording academy on an initiative to make the music industry more inclusive to women. I was shocked at these stats. 98% for example of producers are men. 97% of engineers and mixers are men. Were you really shocked at that? Part of me wasn’t but we’ve got a long way to go in that industry. Listen, I had no idea. You just filled me in on what it really was. I’m just a part of making sure that women get their just due. I work with a female engineer and I just want to see women get what’s equal, what they’re supposed to get, and I’m a part of that. That’s wonderful. Good for you. Our thanks to the incredible Mary J. Blige. “The umbrella academy” is available on Netflix right now. Check it out.
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