The R&B songstress says she was so inspired by the movie, starring Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, that she saw it twice and immediately wrote the song “The Living Proof.”
“I wrote the song almost in the theater as I was watching the movie,” MJB told ESSENCE.com during the ESSENCE Music Festival. “Everything that made me cry, I would write it down. Everything that made me laugh, I would write it down. And then I would listen to different things they were saying and I would write it down.”
Blige says she called the song “The Living Proof” in honor of the characters’ resilience and ability to forgive. “Learning how to forgive people that hurt you. That’s the hardest thing to do,” she said. “My song tells the story of how we are all survivors, and how we’re living proof that we can come through whatever.”
The controversial film, which tells the story of Black maids in the South, already has its critics. Blige isn’t one of them. “It was a balanced movie,” she says. “It wasn’t just woe is me, slave master stuff.
“As much racism as there was, there was so much good to counter it.”
Listen to a sneak peek of “Living Proof” and hear MJB talk about her process.