The Queen Of Hip Hop Soul Returns
EXCLUSIVE | Mary J. Blige is back and she's given MTV Base an interview...
One of the original divas of RnB soul, Mary J. Blige, made a welcome return to MTV this week.
With new album Growing Pains on imminent release, Marys music has evolved to a new height, encompassing her new attitude to life & building on the positivity that shone through on her last album. What inspired the album title was the fact that I am still growing she explained. In order to sustain this positive state of mind that Im trying to live, I have to continue to grow.
The new album includes a hot track featuring rapper Ludacris, who collaborated with Mary on hit single Runaway Love. I chose Ludacris for Wrong Woman because its got a dirty South beat, and who else better to pick than Ludacris, the King of the South? she reasoned. And he respects women-I just love that.
As the first RnB singer to fuse her music with hip hop on classic track Youre All I Need, what does Ms Blige think about Nas claiming that hip hop is dead? I kind of have to agree with Nas because what hip hop was, is dead
Mary concluded: Hip hop used to be a variety of things that were differentnow hip hop looks like one big movie. Everybody is saying so slightly theres a flat line in hip hop right now.
Along with the new album comes a new look which will come as no surprise to her fans. Throughout her career, Mary J. Blige has been a fashion chameleon, experimenting with her hair, clothes and image.
The new look for Mary J. Blige is just less is more she described. I try different things but youve got to be able to see me under all of it. Ive grown and evolved into a woman.
Mary herself has been subject to media speculation, from her notorious relationship with K-Ci of RnB group Jodeci to recent rumours regarding steroid abuse, to which she says: Ive been spoken about for so many yearsat the end of the day, I have nothing to prove to anyone. I am Mary and thats that.
As a consequence of the experiences shes had during her career, Mary J. Blige understands the position that blues singer Amy Winehouse is in and explained: Once you get in this business it kind of puts all your insecurities on blast & now youre forced to live up to this thing everyone wants you to be.
"You actually try to live up to it by drinking, you end up hanging with people who you know dont like you but you just feel like youll be lonely or theyll be mad at you if you dont conform to what they want you to be.
To catch the rest of the interview " Watch the first Lick of 2008, on Sunday 3rd February @ 7pm. Catch the repeat on Monday @ 9.30 am, Tuesday @ 12.30pm, Thursday @ 12.30 pm and Friday @ 3.30pm.
Words by Isabel Affum