Why Martin “Kendu” Issacs Should Be Paying Mary J. Blige Alimony

October 19, 2016  |  

Call it anti-feminist, but I don’t think there is anything particularly equal – or fair – about Martin “Kendu” Issacs requesting spousal support.

Granted he is well within his legal right to make the request – although arguing against a pre-nuptial agreement he willingly signed sounds like a pretty uphill climb.

And to be honest, there is noting particularly unfair about men in general receiving financial support. After all, couples are supposed to act as one unit and as such, are financially dependent upon each other. And since MJB is the primary breadwinner in the household, she has to ante up – something.

But if we can keep it all the way live here, Issacs might be overreaching a little – or a lot – in his alimony request.

Think about it: he is asking for over $129,000 a month.

And he is asking that much from a woman who, according to court documents obtained by TMZ, only earned between $1.5 to $5.1 million in the last two years.

Regardless of how they split, $1.5 million a year from a spouse, who by Issacs’ own admission made anywhere between $750,000 and $2.5 million in a year, seems both unrealistic and punitive.

Especially when he is likely the reason she didn’t earn more to begin with.

After all, Issacs was her manager.

And it is no coincidence MJB hasn’t had a good album since he took over managing her career.

In fact, three of her last studio albums (Stronger With Each Tear, My Life II and A Very Mary Christmas) released during the time of their union sold less than a million copies. And the fourth album, Think Like A Man Too, which was inspired by the film of the same name, only peaked at the 30th spot on the US Billboard Top 200 charts.

While it is true music tastes have shifted over the years, one of the reasons behind her dwindling album sales had to do with the change to her overall sound. No more could we expect the raspy voice singer to give us such soul-bearing anthems like Not Gonna Cry and No More Drama.

Instead the post-nuptial MJB was in love, content and drama-free. And as such, her music began to mimic the kind of boring monotony, which can only come from waking up next to the same guy for 12  years straight.

Or noted by L.A. Times writer Mikeal Wood in a review for the Think Like A Man Too album:

In a sense, Blige appears to have anticipated such a cool reception: This might be her laziest album ever, from the unimaginitive (if festive) cover of Shalamar’s “A Night to Remember” that opens the set to “All Fun and Games,” in which she doesn’t even bother to tweak the well worn cliché about how everything’s good till somebody gets hurt.

Other tracks lack the sharp melodic hooks or the disarmingly agonized vocals that define such Blige classics as “Real Love,” “Not Gon’ Cry” and “Be Without You.” In “Wonderful” she insists, “I never felt so loved” – a recurring theme in Blige’s recent work – but summons little palpable relief; the song has something of a self-help zombie vibe.”

And it is not just MJB’s sound and record sales that have suffered. As previously mentioned by Jazmine Denise Rogers, since their marriage/management relationship began, MJB has been hit with tax liens by both the IRS and the state of New Jersey, served eviction papers and sued by two banks (Bank of America and Signature Bank) for defaulting on her loans.

And then there was that disastrous Burger King crispy chicken commercial…

Granted, we don’t know how much responsibility Issacs deserves for the current trajectory of MJB’s career. If the recent Apple TV interview with Hillary Clinton Apple TV is any indication, MJB is just as much to blame for her bad career choices as he is.

But as her manager, the buck stops at him. And there is no denying his presence in her life hasn’t served her well financially.

For goodness sakes, MJB is the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. She is the originator of both rap-singing and diddy-bopping. She should be getting the Celine Dion treatment and headlining elaborately big productions in Vegas.

Instead she is singing about soggy fried chicken sandwiches from Burger King.

If anything, it is Issacs who owes MJB some money.

Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and the reigning queen of unpopular opinions. She is also from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.

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