Earlier this month I attended the BeBlogalicious Conference and we were treated to a viewing/listening session for Mary J. Blige’s new cd/documentary, The London Sessions. Watching the documentary reignited my love and appreciation for MJB. She has always been a consummate artist, but watching her in action reminded me of why she’s been a force to reckon with since 1992. She is genuine and authentic and that’s what’s given her staying power in an industry that spits people out faster than 30 minute old chewing gum.
On this new cd she works with Sam Smith, Emile Sande, Rodney Jerkins and more. It’s a departure from what her fans are used to, but it’s well worth the journey. My favorite song right now is Whole Damn Year. This is one of those songs that will become an anthem for someone recovering from a bad breakup. She also gives it to us with Right Now and My Loving, both of these are upbeat songs and the latter is a great song to clean house to.
While listening to her new cd I thought back to the summer of 1992. It was the summer before my sophomore year of college when What’s the 411 dropped. This cd didn’t cause a ripple, it caused an avalanche. No summer party was complete without a group of girls performing their You Remind Me routine, complete with jerseys, shorts and knee pads. Mary hit the scene, dropped the mic and dared anyone else to even try to pick it up.
That fall I remember jamming Love No Limit every morning before class and no step show was complete without at least one sorority paying homage to her in one way or another by rockin’ baseball jerseys, caps and combat boots while performing their step routines.
Listening to some of her earlier work reminded me of the evolution of Mary. One of the things I love about her most is the fact that she is real and her music is too. So many artists want to stay young, hip and relevant and in order to do so they dumb down their art. Not Mary. She is respectful and appreciative of her evolution and she encourages her fans to evolve as well. If you haven’t heard her new cd, I highly recommend it. She proves yet again that she is not new to the game, she is true to the game. All hail the queen MJB is back!
FTC Disclosure statement: I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of bLink Marketing Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.