Mary J. Blige Talks Working On New Music With London Artists & The Burger King Commercial Fiasco
For her 13th studio album, Mary J. Blige traveled across the pond to record with some of the leading talent in the British music scene. The Queen of Hip Hop Soul collaborated with artists like Disclosure, Emeli Sandé, Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, and Naughty Boy for the upcoming London Sessions LP.
Blige recently sat down with The Breakfast Club to give more detail into how the project came together.
“London was the inspiration because of the record we did with Disclosure – the “F For You” record. It exploded in London… and it started trickling over here,” explained Mary. “Before I signed to the new label we met with Steve Barnett, the head of Capitol Records. We told him the idea about doing an EP with Disclosure, and he was like, ‘Forget the EP. Let’s do a whole album and surround you with the culture of all the young upcoming producers, singers, and writers over there’.”
The Yonkers songstress and her husband Kendu Isaacs also discussed how she became involved in a controversial 2012 Burger King commercial. Blige caught backlash for appearing in the “BK Chicken Snack Wrap” ad. Some critics felt the act reinforced negative stereotypes about African-Americans.
“When we signed up to do it, she was singing about a salad. In the last minute they were like, ‘We want to switch it to the sandwich’,” stated Issacs. “My dumb ass, I dropped the ball.”
Isaacs also claims either Burger King or the ad agency edited the footage to include off the cuff statements Blige made that were not intended for the commercial.
“It’s almost like they were doing it on purpose,” he said.
Blige added about the fiasco, “I got real dark for a minute. I wanted to go under my bed…When I felt like I wanted to go under there, something was like, ‘Get up and have the courage to go out there. Yeah, they’re laughing. You’re a soldier. Go do what you need to do’.”