Wise & Young

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ode to Mary J

I love Mary J. Blige. A simple sentence but I really do love Mary; I have never met her yet. But Mary has been not only a source of inspiration but a comfort. The first time I remember seeing Mary J Blige was on Video Soul, in her “Real Love” music video. Hell I can even remember the scene, it was the one when she was in a white suit, and she was hurting them with the trademark Hip-Hop couture that she would be on the forefront of developing. For some reason, maybe it was the song, the video, or that certain something I was transfixed on Mary from that instance on. I remember reading “Right On!” and seeing photos of Mary and thinking that I could relate to her. I never had or have been in love and I was 13 I think, but I could still relate to Mary and what she represented on a very instinctual gut level, and that was struggle. I remember hearing her debut and not only hearing the words but also the pain and the aching to move from her circumstance.

At this time I was going through puberty, and no one was really talking about the angst, pain, and the confusion that takes place. Maybe it was in Mary that I could find that person who was talking about pain and struggle, and not knowing how to get out of it. Then came along “My Life”, which for most people is when they stood up and took notice of Mary. On that album there was pain, deep pain, that regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, anyone could relate to, it was the type of pain that called to all of us like a siren hauntingly drawing us in and keeping us captivated because we see it as a mirror of the struggles we are going through as well. Fittingly, the one of the last track was “Be Happy”, where Ms. Blige was dropping jewels of knowledge like “How can I love somebody else/if I can't love myself enough to know/When it's time/Time to let go”. Now whether you were/are that ghetto girl with baby powder on her neck, smackin’ her lips in the hood, or that Anglo-Saxon white guy who lives on the farm in the Mid-West, it rings true for us all.

But Mary is/not one to go around and wallow in her depths of her life, she did something that most people have a hard time doing. She started on the path of self-discovery, and took us, the world, along with her on her road. In her candid manner, Mary didn’t hold a damn thing back from us, not the drug addiction, her abusive relationships, her dislike for various artists, and everything else. We were there when she wanted to fight reporters whom she felt misrepresented, when she was lived up more to the Diva moniker that she gained. But she also let people know that she was trying to better herself. The evolution of Mary shows many people that it is possible, that you can change your circumstance, that life is a process.

Now it’s time for me to address the issues of her singing ability. There are some Pharisees that say that she can’t sing, what they fail to realize is that she can, extremely well, that its not just about notes, and chords, but the delivery. Not too many singers can make feel the song and emote the emotion that is needed to take the audience there, and Mary does that superbly.

Just my thoughts


  • I love me some mary too. although i never thought she was the best singer either. the reason why i like her so much is my ability to sing along with her. since she can't sing that well and neither can i we sound bad together but her "delivery" as you call helps!!! LOL

    By Blogger No4real4real, at 10:54 PM  

  • Nice to see another Mary J. fan..new album coming! You summed her up pretty well, nothing left for me to say. I think this album will showcase that her vocal ability has increased. She can sing...she is not Whitney, but she holds her own. she just needs to get some control of her upregister

    By Blogger mytruth, at 4:15 AM  

  • Her delivery makes her one of the greatest singers I think. Of course we are lacking in this area I'm not gonna point any elbows or say names...lol

    By Blogger Honey-Libra, at 10:07 AM  

  • All hail to the Queen of Hip-hop Soul...

    By Blogger ProfessorGQ, at 5:02 PM  

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