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Monday, November 28, 2022

Mary J. Blige – My Life (1994) Album Review

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Jelisa M.
Jelisa is a lover of all music, but 90's R&B has a special place in her heart. She considers the 90's a groundbreaking era for black entertainment that should be celebrated more. "Music is my love language and movies are my mistress."

Album Review • After taking over the R&B world with her debut album What’s the 411?, Mary J. Blige hit us with one of the greatest sophomore albums of the 90’s with My Life. With songs sampling some of the greatest 70’s artist like Rose Royce, Roy Ayers and Rick James, Blige took fans through one of the toughest times of her life with her music. From an alleged abusive relationship with K-Ci of Jodeci, to drug and alcohol abuse, this album really gave us a look into Mary’s life.

Sampling Curtis Mayfield “You’re So Good to Me”, “Be Happy” told us a story of how Mary wanted her life to be. She talked about self awareness when she started off with “How can I love somebody else, if I can’t love myself enough to know when it’s time to let go?” Listen, that’s a whole word! I didn’t quite understand when I was younger what she meant but I completely understand now. The second single, a cover of Rose Royce “I’m Going Down”, Mary put her own spin to the classic. One thing about Mary, she will ALWAYS do justice to a cover, and this is one of her most popular covers that she must perform at shows. When the video dropped on BET of her in black & white walking down the stairs, it gave the song more momentum. It’s probably one of her most memorable videos today. 

From The Vault: Mary J. Blige - 'I'm Goin' Down' - That Grape Juice

One of my favorite MJB songs “My Life”, with a sample from Roy Ayers “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”, will have you taking a good look in the mirror at yourself. This hit was all about knowing that things will be okay regardless of what’s going on in your life. It was so many amazing lyrics in this song I don’t have enough characters to write them, just go back and listen for yourself. Another fan favorite, “Mary Jane (All Night Long)” with a sample from Mary Jane Girls “All Night Long”, is a hit that we love to see Mary perform because we know that Mary signature bop is warming up in them boots. 

This album is one of my favorite MJB classics, and I hate that she wrote some of her best music when she was at her lowest. They always say some of the best music come from pain and MJB is the artist we we always go to after a heartbreak. Her pain made her into the incomparable woman she is today. This album has gotten a lot of us through some of the worst times of our lives and I’m sure it did the same for Mary.

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