All Articles Tagged "mary j. blige"

Does Mary J. Blige Get The Recognition She Deserves, Or Is She Fading Into Obscurity?

August 7th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Have we forgotten about Mary J. Blige?

It’s such a weird question, right? I thought so too. And then I read this piece written by Elias Leight on Salon entitled, “Mary J. Blige’s curse: Why the world ignores one of the best living R&B musicians,” and suddenly I didn’t know what to think anymore.

For one, who is ignoring Mary J. Blige? I don’t.

But according to Leight, lots of people are because apparently we missed the memo that the queen of an entire genre of music called hip-hop soul is fading into obscurity. Seriously, he claims that people are actually forgetting about her altogether:

Mary J. Blige, a onetime superstar with stacks of Grammies and plenty of hits, now lingers in semi-obscurity — eight of her albums went platinum, but her latest, “Think Like a Man Too,” won’t get near that mark. Meanwhile, Sam Smith gets to No. 1 by relying heavily on the gospel-influenced style that Blige has down pat, though he sounds more old-fashioned than she ever did. While Smith takes the charts, he doesn’t win (critical) hearts — those are controlled by acts like Little Dragon, How to Dress Well or Jessie Ware, who often record for independent labels. The Blige connection is strong here too, as the music of this group is explicitly influenced by mainstream ‘90s R&B, which Blige revolutionized. Even though her fingerprints are everywhere, she is mostly ignored, crowded out by old-school-sounding white belters on one side and the hip indie groups on the other.

It’s actually remarkable that Blige is even still making music. Other big names from ’90s R&B — including Janet Jackson, Brandy and Monica — are rarely heard from. Even ladies who had more recent success in the first half of the ‘00s, like Ashanti, Toni Braxton and Kelly Rowland, struggle to make a dent now. (All three put out albums within the last 18 months; none got any attention.) If you are a woman making R&B, especially one older than 40, and your name is not Beyoncé, few people care.”

‘Tis is true.

Initially, I didn’t know what to think about this essay considering the fact that Blige has put out new music consistently every couple of years. However, her last three albums have only gone gold and the last album, A Mary Christmas, barely cracked the top 10 charts. Not to mention the snub she received from the Academy when it failed to nominate her song, “The Living Proof,” which was the title cut from the soundtrack for The Help, for Best Original Song. Despite being near and dear to most of the hearts of those who grew up with her sound, Mary Jane just doesn’t seem to get the reverence she deserves. I mean, Billboard? Academy of Music? MTV? BET even! Where is Blige’s lifetime achievement award?

And even though I still bump her music to this day (at least once a week actually), I have to admit that most of the cuts are from her earlier albums, particularly the eras between What’s the 411? and No More Drama. I have a couple of the newer records, but you know…it’s not the same.

However, even among the greats, there is a hesitation to listen to their new music once they hit a certain age. Outside of Blige (and a few others), no one is more revered than Aretha Franklin. She is cited as an influence for many music (and even non-musical) artists as well as the soul genre in general. Yet her last three albums, So Damn Happy, This Christmas, Aretha and Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love, barely registered in the top 100 of the album charts when they came out. Sure, you can say that Millennials and the generation after that were not born into the era of the Queen’s reign, so they would not have much of a reference point like us Generation X folks and above. However, even the Rose is Still A Rose album was only made popular (rising to number 30 on the US Billboard Charts and certified gold) by the inclusion of Lauryn Hill’s production and influence.

Now one might arguably state that the reason we tend to ignore the current tunes of the greats is because of the changing landscape of music, which has moved away from that basement beat and gritty street feel that Blige helped to popularize. Likewise, those artists, including Blige, are still great, but have failed to keep up with the change in musical tides. In spite of a few crossover cuts here and there, including performing tracks with the likes of Bono over the years, Blige has pretty much kept it ‘hood (“Hood Love” anyone?), choosing to perform duets with rappers more than rockers. And it could be that close connection with hip-hop, which has prohibited her from gaining international success like many of her fellow divas.

That and Beyoncé.

But what do you all think? Does Mary J. Blige get the recognition she deserves?

“Rich Girl” And “Afro Puffs”: 9 Songs For The Ladies We Didn’t Know Dr. Dre Produced

August 4th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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songs produced by Dr Dre

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I can name quite a few classic songs off the top of my my head that Dr. Dre produced for some of rap’s heaviest hitters: “Nuthin But A G Thang,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” “In Da Club,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Boyz-n-the-hood” and so on and so forth. But while the new billionaire is known for his beats (you like my play on words there?) he’s done for rappers and the impact they’ve had on hip-hop, he’s also done a number of tracks in R&B and pop music for a little bit of everybody, including the ladies. Here are nine surprising songs by and for the ladies that were produced by Dr. Dre (and if you already knew all these, kudos and a big ‘ol cookie to you!).

Pass Or Play? Mary J Blige Is Zipping Up Her “Suitcase”

May 30th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Mary J Blige is back to being scorned… at least in her new song for the Think Like A Man Too soundtrack. In the new banger Mary issues a warning to a man who’s been misbehaving saying that the next time he looks up, she’ll be packing her suitcase. Check out some of the lyrics below.

Cuz I can’t keep on crying when I see ya
Messing up my makeup
Thinking you gon’ change but
Everything’s the same (yeah)
Started keeping secrets
Got my heart in pieces
I’m about to pick myself up (yup)

 

You gon’ wake up in the morn
And find out that I’m already gone
Got a one way ticket
Here’s your goodbye song
And while you’re trying to explain
I’ll be zipping up my suitcase

Word is all of the music on the soundtrack is inspired by the movie, so we’re wondering if there’s going to be a breakup among the cast members in this new movie. While the film’s sequel will be released on June 20, the soundtrack will drop on June 17th. Interestingly enough, Mary J Blige will handle the entire soundtrack. She takes on a remake of Shalamar’s “A Night To Remember” and there are songs featuring The Dream and Pharrell.

Here’s a track listing

1.      A Night to Remember

2.      Vegas Nights feat. The-Dream

3.      Moment of Love

4.      See That Boy Again feat. Pharrell Williams

5.      Wonderful

6.      Kiss and Make Up

7.      Cargo

8.      Suitcase

9.      I Want You

10.   Self Love

11.   Power Back

12.   All Fun and Games

13.   Better

14.   Propose

Check out the song below and let us know what you think.

Pass or play?

 

If you’re feeling this song, you can download it on Amazon and iTunes next week on June 3.

A Little Mood Music: 9 Songs To Help You Reset & Be Your Best Self

May 27th, 2014 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.

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Shutterstock

Music is power. The right song can take you from pain to inspiration and transform your mood to belief, power, and I can-do-it. Yes. Life is a soundtrack and when you select a winning compilation, all your struggles seem worth it.

I have pressed reset several times and taken many missteps to master the lessons and create a journey worth living. Life will never be perfect, but if we select inspiring grooves on the path to renewal, it makes life worth living.

Get ready to let it all go, be free, get naked with your emotion, and allow the magic of music to uplift you. Here is to hope, love, and inspiration.

Allow me to share some of my favorite tunes, which have provided me with the ultimate instruction and playbook to love self stronger; have faith; and, ultimately change the course to press RESET, when stuff isn’t working.

In Honor Of Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Famous Women Who’ve Spoken Out About Their Abuse

April 1st, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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It takes a strong woman to come forward and open up publicly about abuse and these famous women who are victims of rape are some of the most notable. As we begin Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, we take a moment to recognize their courage as a reminder that victims don’t have to be silenced.

"Gabrielle Union pf"

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Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union is used to discussing her personal life with the media. During an interview with ABC’s “The View,” Union revealed that she was raped at the age of 19. Working at a Payless shoe store, the “Being Mary Jane” star was attacked by an employee from another store. He also raped and robbed another woman before turning himself in and is now serving a 33-year sentence. Union, who never wanted to be labeled as a victim, has become an advocate for survivors of assault.

Show Us What You Workin’ Wit! Actors Who Were Video Vixens

March 4th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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By day, they are actors, but by night these 15 male stars could be seen on the small screen moonlighting as one-time video vixens.

actors in music videos

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Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard has been working in front on the cameras playing different roles since 1992’s Jacksons: An American Dream. He may be best known for hit movies such as Crash and Hustle & Flow but he also has a few music video roles under his belt. In Ashanti’s “Foolish,” Howard plays her criminal minded ex who gets caught cheating. The video earned three MTV VMA nominations in 2002. Howard also played opposite Mary J. Blige in her “Be Without You” video where she just couldn’t be without him.

From Mary & Elton To Beyoncé & Luther: Epic ‘Old School Meets New School’ Collaborations

February 25th, 2014 - By Desire Thompson
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Duets bring out the best in most artists, but there’s something special about it when the collaboration is between a veteran and a newbie in the music game. Recently, Lupe Fiasco posted a picture with Charlie Wilson, letting folks know that that they would be teaming up. It’s just one of many collaborations Wilson has done with rappers and singers (including Kanye West and Snoop Dogg) over the last few years. With that in mind, let’s check out some of the most interesting duets with the veterans and the rookies. What are some of your faves?

Mary J. Blige’s Father Stabbed In The Neck During Confrontation With Ex-Girlfriend

January 24th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Mary J. Blige

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The father of famed songstress Mary J. Blige was hospitalized after a lover’s quarrel turned bloody. According to USA Today, Thomas Blige, 63, was found in his Michigan apartment around 6:58 am on Thursday, suffering from three stab wounds, including one to his neck.

When officers arrived on the scene, Detective Sgt. Jim Martens said that they were met with a trail of blood in the snow, which led from the entrance drive to the apartment complex. Officers say they found even more blood in Thomas’ apartment, along with the knife, which they believed was used in the attack. Thomas was rushed to the Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he underwent surgery for his injuries.

Officers found Thomas’ 50-year-old girlfriend at her nearby apartment in the same complex, still wearing blood-splattered clothing. She was taken to the Battle Creek Hospital and treated for a cut and later transported to the Calhoun County jail. She is expected to be arraigned this morning at the Calhoun County court and faces a charge of assault with the intent to murder. It is believed that Thomas discovered the woman deflating the tires on his SUV in the parking lot of the Arbors of Battle Creek apartment complex and the two engaged in a heated dispute, which resulted in the stabbing of the 63-year-old.

Sgt. Martens told reporters that he has responded to seven domestic violence complaints between Thomas and his ex-girlfriend since this summer. In October the woman was charged with aggravated assault after she hit Thomas over the head with a glass candle stick. On Jan. 10 she was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to have “non-assaultive” contact with Thomas.

As of Thursday morning, Thomas was in critical condition. Further updates about his current condition have not been provided.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

What Happened There? The Origins Of Celebrity Scars

January 13th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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We all have permanent marks or scars on our bodies that tell a story from our lives and celebrities are no different than the rest of us. Here are the origins of these well-known celebrity scars.

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Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige has always shared the highs and lows of her life with her fans but when it comes to how she got the scar right below her left eye, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has been cagey. One story claims the scar is a reminder from a fight with another woman in Blige’s younger years. Another story claims the scar is from a traumatic event in the “Just Fine” singer’s childhood that she refuses to discuss. Though she hasn’t confirmed either tale, Blige did speak about loving her imperfections, including the scar on her face. “If I don’t accept the scar on my face, the lips that God gave me, the big giant feet, the long legs, whatever it is that I’m deformed with, I got to love it so everybody else can love it. And I started loving it.”

Over It: 15 Celebs Who Need To Give The Blonde Hair A Rest!

December 16th, 2013 - By Meghan Reid
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Apparently if you’re a black woman who happens to be a celebrity, your hair must be dyed blonde at some point and you must have an arsenal of blonde lace fronts in your closet. It’s like once you reach a certain level of success blonde hair becomes the standard and changing it up just doesn’t happen anymore. Even if blonde hair looks terrible on you, that is of no importance. Check out 15 celebs we’re begging to let the blonde dye job go.
Black celebrities with blonde hair
Photo: WENN

Mary J. Blige

We may never see Mary J. Blige without blonde hair again. She is one celebrity that just doesn’t seem to change up her hair color at all. She’s always rocking the honey blonde and we’d love to see her change it up every now and then.

No thanks