The Evolution of Mary J. Blige In Song

With the return of a new album, new sound and new found confidence I decided to take you on a journey with none other than the queen of Hip Hop & R&B Ms. Mary J. Blige! With chart topping singles, such as “The One” and “I Am”, that have already created a new buzz we can see her new album, Stronger with Each Tear, which is due out December 21st is just what it leads us to believe by the title. Mary J. Blige wasn’t always this strong, confident woman that we see today. She allowed us to look in her life, feel her pain, and see her struggles. Because she was so raw with it women gravitated to her like bees to honey. She was and still is the voice of many women out there and for that reason we celebrate The Evolution of Mary J. Blige In Song!

“Real love” – What’s The 411? (1992)
We were first introduced to Mary J. Blige on her quest to find “Real Love”. All the examples that she was given, left her wondering if that kind of love even existed. She laid out the map of a journey many woman followed her on.

“I hope my dreams and inspirations lead me to want some real love”

“I Don’t Want To Do Anything” – What’s The 411? (1992)
In this song the fans got to see the passion between lovebirds Mary J. Blige and K-Ci from the R&B group Jodeci. The two made it very clear that all they wanted to do was love each other. Had Mary found her real love?

“Together we will be as one, just me and you”

“I’m Going Down” – My Life (1994)
In this song Mary sings about how much of a change a breakup can cause in your life. I think in this song she was showing us what kind of pain she was going through because someone she loved so much was now gone.

“Sleep don’t come easy, boy please believe me, since you been gone, everything’s going wrong”

“My Life” – My Life (1994)
In this Roy Ayers sampled track and now classic M.J.B hit we finally got to see another side of the singer. She depicts and tells her story of how painful her life was like at that point. Letting us all know not to let the TV, glitz and glamour fool us of what her life was really like.

“If you looked in my life and see what I’ve seen…ooh you will see that I’m so blue, down and out, crying every day, don’t know what to do or to say”

“Missing You” – Share My World (1997)
We’ve all been here before. It’s where we’ve let that no good man out of our lives but for some reason we can’t seem to get him out our head. Well that was exactly what Mary was singing out here. She’s clearing reminiscing on all the good times and it’s just making her miss him uncontrollably.

“I’m not in love and that’s what I just keep telling myself over and over again…I dream about you all the time, touching and kissing me, and making love to me”

“Deep Inside” – Mary (1999)

In this song Mary teamed up with Elton John, who played elements of his song “Bennie and the Jets” on the piano, to talk about the human side of her that most don’t know. It begins to question if she is not only looking for love in romance but in friends as well. It’s a tale of very lonely woman who is just Mary.

“I don’t have a lot of friends and sometimes I have to wonder is it cash they see when they look at me or they looking for a ride that’s free”

“No More Drama” – No More Drama (2001)

In this Double platinum album a new Mary J. Blige emerged. This was no longer the woman with so much pain in her life. She was telling us that there was no more room for all that. It was time for her to live for Mary!

“It feels so good when you let go of all the drama in your life. Now you’re free from all the pain, free from all the games, free from all the stress, so try your happiness. I don’t know, only God knows where the story ends for me, but I know where my story begins. It’s up to us to choose whether we win or lose, and I choose to win”

“All Of My Love” – Love & Life (2003)
It’s 10 years later and Mary J. Blige took to this album doing it with the one person who she began her musical journey with and that’s Sean “Diddy” Combs. We are seeing a new warm loving side of Mary now. She’s now singing about the joys of being in love and not being afraid to give this person all of her.

“Boy don’t you know that deep inside you are so beautiful. You’re made for me so never ever ever let me go. I never knew someone could set my soul and body free”

“Special Part of Me” – Love & Life (2003)
We can see that Mary is in love now and in this song she is giving her new husband Kendu Issacs all the credit he deserves for loving her and helping her turn into the woman that she has now become.

“You will always be a special part of me, boy you make me feel like someone does love me. You make me feel like I’m alive. No one ever gave me all you did to me. Nobody ever made me feel like I was pretty before. You turned a little girl into the woman I should be. I’m in love”

“Be With You” – The Breakthrough (2005)
After being a married woman and finding herself Mary sings about the joys of her love and dedication for her husband Kendu. Now that she has found this love that almost didn’t exist she urges woman to tell and show their men how important they are to them.

“We been too strong for too long and I can’t be without you baby. And I’ll be waiting up until you get home, cause I can’t sleep without you baby. If anybody who’s ever loved ya know just what I feel. Too hard to fake it, nothing can replace it. Call the radio if you just can’t be without you baby”

“Take Me As I Am” – The Breakthrough (2005)
When Mary started to sing about the joys of being in love some people had mixed emotions about it. Most of her fans have always related to her through her music and the pain that she sung about but now that she is not in that place anymore they might have felt left behind. And because of that the woman they have been rooting for to find real love they are now ready to tear down because she’s not the bitter heartbroken girl anymore. So in this song she lays it on the line about who she is with no apologies for it.

“Yes she’s older now, yes he’s wiser now, can’t disguise her now she don’t need, no one telling her what to do and say, no one telling her who to be. She’s on solid ground, she’s been lost and found, now she answers to G.O.D, and she’s confident this is not the end, ask me how I know cause she is me. You know I been holding on, you tried to make me weak but I still stayed strong. Put my life all up in these songs, just so you can feel me so you can get the real me. So take me as I am or have nothing at all”

“Just Fine” – Growing Pains (2007)
At this point it’s not about singing sad songs or love songs but more about celebrating life and finally being happy with who Mary is! I think that’s enough said to describe the thought behind this song. Go head Mary!

“It feels so good when you doing all the things that you wanna do. Get the best out of life treat yourself to something new. It’s a really good thing to sing that I won’t change my life my life’s just fine”

“What Love Is” – Growing Pains (2007)
I think Mary did this song for the people who followed her on this journey of love but maybe has not found it yet for themselves. She describes the ups and downs, the good and bad of being in love.

“It feels like joy, it feels like pain and it feels like sunshine, feels like rain. An excuse for dying, reason to live and if you don’t know that’s what love is”

“If You Love Me” – Growing Pains (2007)
Mary is a married woman now with almost 5 years under the belt and in no way is ready to give up on this one. So with every relationship married or not a woman has to remind her man that the way that you got me is the way you have to keep me. Don’t start taking the love for granted.

“Hey I’m pretty much ok but I still must say if we gonna stay solid, then hey, there’s a few lil things that I been meaning to bring to ya attention partner, If you love me like you say you do, hold me show me act like I’m really the one”

“Stay Down” – Growning Pains (2007)
When I hear this song I think of loyalty more than love and I think that’s what Mary is touching on. I believe she feels as though there’s no option of divorce in her marriage so it’s important to send that message that not only marriage but love takes constant work.

“Stay down, we’re almost to the very best part, stay down, you’ll always have a place in my heart, stay down, he took and past the test, stay down, you know we got a lot of work, stay down, I know it ain’t been the best, stay down, but it surely ain’t been the worst. Stay down, the drama will not last forever, stay down, we’ll beat as long as we’re together. One day we’ll look back on this, we’ll be like remember this, and it’s gonna make us smile, cause in the end we stayed down”

“I Am” & “The One” – Stronger with Each Tear (2009)
Following an album that was basically more or a less a dedication to her husband, the love they share, and her new found love for herself she is stronger than ever and is letting it be known.

“Them other girls you done been with none of them got nothing on me, ain’t got my style they ain’t got nothing on me nothing on me. Way I walk, the way I talk my swagga, look around every dude wanna have her. I ain’t saying that I’m the best, but I’m the best, and hey baby you need that” – “The One”

“You could try to act single is you wanna, go ahead and mingle is you wanna, you can even behave like you don’t care, but you know, like I know, that you ain’t that foolish, who you foolin, you won’t ruin, what’s been here all along, you ain’t movin from what you got at home”

—— By: Summer Terry


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