Tag: Mary J. Blige

  • The Quarterly Report: Best Singles of 2008 Thus Far

    Sassy but at the same time raspy Impossible to overstate the seismic effect that actually having a car with a radio in it had on this list. A certain breed of pop song, after all, just wasn’t built to be heard coming out of headphones or dinky computer speakers. Something like, say, “With Love” only […]

  • Thursday 3:27

    [MUSIC] LONG ISLAND GANGSTER Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige take a lap through the suburbs Others may eventually out-rhyme and outsell him, but Jay-Z will forever own every venue within walking, driving, and flying range of New York City. His three upcoming Madison Square Garden shows may as well be in Utah, as far as […]

  • LONG ISLAND GANGSTER

    Others may eventually out-rhyme and outsell him, but Jay-Z will forever own every venue within walking, driving, and flying range of New York City. His three upcoming Madison Square Garden shows may as well be in Utah, as far as your chances for getting in are concerned, so consider Long Island instead (or, if you’re […]

  • Mariah Carey’s Failed Adjustment

    Yeah, so this probably won’t be happening again These are rough times for established R&B artists because nobody knows what R&B is even supposed to sound like anymore. Since the big Akon/T-Pain invasion jumped off, commercial R&B has gotten itself all tangled up with dancehall and synthpop and mid-90s Euro-techno, and it’s getting increasingly hard […]

  • Why Would Musicians Use Steroids?

    And here’s another hit: Barry Bonds Over the weekend, Albany’s Times-Union newspaper reported on a steroid-trafficking investigation that implicated a few famous musicians. Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Timbaland, and Wyclef Jean, along with the unbelievably obnoxious slapstick institution Tyler Perry, have all supposedly received shipments of illegal steroids. Thus far, this is basically nothing […]

  • Mary J. Blige’s Growing Pains

    As Queen Mary settles into survivaldom, sloughs of despond become mere obstacle courses, overcome by deft pole-vaulting. Her problems with drugs and alcohol formed chapters of a familiar narrative, one in which the pieties of the 12-step program were rewritten as a deluxe, jittery, go-on-girl version of The Four Agreements. It’s impossible to accuse Mary […]

  • The Exquisite Thug

    It’s not so much that r&b is in a quagmire as that hip-hop is so very much not. Which means that for 10 years now, it’s made more sense for great vocalists to forgo austerity in favor of a little bump and grind. No one—save for early Mary J Blige and about four months of […]

  • The Royal She

    Geffen prez Jimmy Iovine has cooked up synergistic film vehicles for label stars Eminem, Gwen Stefani, and 50 Cent. But last month’s news that “Undisputed Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige would star in an MTV biopic of High Priestess of Soul Nina Simone suggests hubris. Nina started out as a classical pianist, and […]

  • The Secret of Joy

    Faith Evans obviously spent a lot of time with Jill Scott’s debut. No crime in that; we all did. And for good reason: Scott gave the genre of the urban woman’s confessional in song—the blues by any other name—license to wax poetic, spin prolix narrative recitative, and elasticize melody like Bird and Sarah Vaughan were […]

  • R&B for the Thugs, From the Ladies, With Help From the South

    Nowadays, every rapper is a lover—sorry, LL!—but Mary J. Blige circa ’94 aside, there’s been precious little female soul for the discerning thug. Jiggaman must’ve whispered in Beyoncé’s ear: “Soldier,” a transfixing number, might do for r&b what “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” never did for rap: convince the […]