Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dr. Boyce: Please Mary, No More Drama…At Least Not Over a Piece of Chicken

I like chicken. Let’s start the conversation right there. There is no shame black people enjoying chicken and being proud of it. If eating chicken were a crime, I’d be gladly serving 14 life sentences with no chance for parole.  I also love Mary J. Blige, who might be considered the female R. Kelly, minus the creepy stories about having sex with little kids.

Mary J. Blige also seems to enjoy chicken. In fact, she enjoys chicken enough to sing about it in a recent ad Burger King commercial. Mary doesn’t just sing about chicken in the cute way that I used to sing “I love chicken” to my mama when I was in elementary school (I even had a chicken dance to go with it, typical for a 9-year old boy). She belts about the crispy bird in a way that scoops up the bottom of her soul, as if she’s agonizing over a long lost love, a painful miscarriage or the joy and pain of fighting through a drug addiction. In full Mary J. Blige R&B gear, the queen of all things musical spits out a tune that would be a fit for any awards show, celebrating the juicy-osity of Burger King chicken like a pastor praising the lord for curing his daughter’s cancer.

 I’ll admit that while it’s OK for black people to love chicken, the image of our favorite artists singing and dancing for a piece of chicken can ruin our collective appetite. Mind you, Mary J. reportedly had two million reasons to sing for the chicken, so we can’t get mad at her for taking the money. What we can openly ask is whether or not there’s a price being paid when one of our classiest performers reduces herself to the Chicken Jingle Lady at Burger King.

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