Top 5 songs from “My Life II … The Journey Continues (Act I)” by Mary J. Blige

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In the spring of 2011, when Mary J. Blige announced a sequel to her beloved 1994 album My life, she had fans on her knees in gratitude for the resurgence of emotional unease and fractured confessions of grief and longing.

With My life II… The journey continues (Act I), Blige offered an alternative vision of her love story to her husband and manager at the time, through more complex songwriting and arrangements softened by antique samples and embellished with a more contemporary production through studio accomplices such as Danja, Sean Garrett and Rico Love.

A handful of radio singles have been released before My life II ‘s November 2011 release. It started with “Someone to Love Me (Naked)”, assisted by Lil Wayne and Diddy, a throwback to his soul hip-hop roots, and a track that his affiliate Uptown Records first added. to his Last train to Paris album. Arden Altino, who helped produce the sample track from The Sweet Inspirations, revealed in a 2021 interview with Rated R&B that Blige recorded it first.

“After Mary jumped on the record, Diddy heard the record and said, ‘Damn, I need this fucking record in my life. “She said, ‘I already have the record,’ and he said, ‘Fuck. You do your version, and I will do my version,’ Altino said.

By the end of August 2011, Blige had shared “25/8”, an age-old production by Eric Hudson where she convincingly bid for more time in the day to spend with her man. Crystal Nicole told Rated R&B in 2014 that it took her 45 minutes to write the album’s first official single after taking inspiration from a queue at a hibachi restaurant.

Productive throughout the fall of 2011, Blige performed intimate shows in urban markets where she, for the first time, performed the first volume of My life in its entirety. The album’s next single, “Mr. Wrong”, helped by Drake and produced by Rico Love, took her into the release of My life II, his 12th entry into the Billboard 200 top 10 and another top five contender for the R & B / hip-hop album charts.

Other featured guests include Beyoncé, Nas, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes and Brook Lynn, Blige’s spirited rap alias.

To celebrate the Blige My life II… The journey continues (Act I) anniversary, here are the five best songs from the era of the album.

“No state”

No one goes up a beat like Mary J. Blige. Danja is responsible for the desperate voice of the R&B queen who thrives on this tempo shifting track of tribal percussion and piano currents. In the lyrics, Blige indulges helplessly in a courtyard that gradually becomes more complicated to deal with. She gains momentum in the second half of the track she co-wrote with Danja and Kevin Cossum, perfectly blending harmonies with Cossum.

“Feel Inside” with Nas

Blige made his official debut on My life II with this mid-tempo “Feel Inside” influenced by Wu-Tang and assisted by Nas. Originally heralded as a knockout collaboration between Blige and Nicki Minaj, the previously leaked track radiates the energy and New York unhappiness of a confused Blige. She is in uncomfortable pain inside after going nowhere with her now indifferent man. Nas flows flawlessly, pointing out some of her daughter’s loathsome behaviors, relying on her housewife daughter for erroneous responses to her text.

“Do not worry”

With every album, Blige has at least one song that becomes a new classic. “Don’t Mind” is it for My life II. This simple kiss and makeup song is accented by a programmed drum pattern, constant synths and handclaps beneath a delicate surface. Blige has teamed up with Jerry Wonda again and invites Priscilla Renea into the songwriting room for the first time to plead that no outside interference will sever the bond between her and her man.

“Midnight Drive” with Brook Lynn

Brook Lynn strikes again. Blige’s best rap opens the punchy bass track by spitting like a New York MC in his prime in an explosive 16 bar verse about the good love her man poses. She then switches to an almost jazzy pace, at the call of the bat signal from her satisfying partner, who has a bedroom. As the closing notes of My life’s “Mary Jane (All Night Long)”, Blige scat with prowess.

“Love a Woman” with Beyoncé

The queens unite. Beyoncé bought this 4 unused tracks from Mary J. Blige, claiming she wanted to duet it with an obvious R&B hero. The two dominant divas seek out familiar but unexplored relationship advice from a woman’s perspective for men who might step up in the realm of romance. The deck of this’ 90s collaboration breaks down their advice even more, finding Blige and Beyoncé directing men’s heads to drop below their waist. A monster R&B success that should have happened.

Revisit Mary J. Blige’s My life II: the journey continues (act I) below.


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