YourBlackWorld.net, By Victor Trammell, Posted January 10th 2020
Mary J. Blige is an undisputed titleholder in a musical niche, which was coined specifically for her; The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.
The 48-year-old songstress earned that career title early on as she paved a custom-made path of her own in the world of R&B music. Though her irreplaceable voice bore the pain and selfless sacrifice prevalent in contemporary R&B, something was quite different about that enigmatic girl from the Bronx providing her old soul-influenced vocals over those classic hip-hop inspired beats.
Like the hip-hop music genre, Blige’s origin began in the notorious BX borough of New York City. Her individuality, grit, deliberate distinction, and perseverance are hallmarks of the environment she evolved in while developing a New York state of mind. The evolution of Mary J. Blige, the music pioneer, became a process that spawned a revolution for black women in the music industry.
Some of the super black female songbirds who are more popular with the current generation (Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Rihanna, etc.) have reportedly transcended Blige’s commercial impact. In a new era where physical album copies are no longer selling in mass and the major record label-induced pressure of first-week album sales remains prevalent, R&B has lost some of its soul over time.
However, there’s no denying that the aforementioned new school, heavily pop-influenced R&B queens of today grew up as girls listening to Blige while viewing her as a definite role model. But the lives depicted by musical celebrities on television in the form of art visuals, or even lyrically woven into sonic backdrops are often just creative figments that do not always tell the whole story.
On the contrary, Blige has always been a rebel with a cause in that regard. It is probably why her second album is aptly titled “My Life.” Unlike most American artists whose lyrics reflect what is current and popular, Blige reflects on yesteryear in order to show you why she is still standing here today; through truthful testimony of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Though documentary films and television docuseries features are the current and popular thing to do in the world of visual arts nowadays, Blige’s forthcoming work in this cinematic arena will be chronicling a life experience that is anything but. According to Deadline, Blige has teamed up with Amazon Studios and Entertainment One to produce a documentary film about her life.
“We all know Mary J. Blige as the two-time Oscar nominee, Grammy Award-winning, multi-hyphenate who has sold over 80 million records. But through this documentary, audiences will see a raw and honest side of Mary J. Blige opening up about her personal journey of redemption and healing, said Matt Newman, Co-Head of Films at Amazon Studios.
“We are thrilled to share with our worldwide Prime Video customers this exclusive, never-before-seen, inside look into the global legend, Mary J. Blige,” Newman also told Deadline in his statement.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, Blige’s Uptown Records debut benefactor, has always been a loyal career advocate of hers. Combs will also assume the role of Executive Producer alongside Blige for her currently untitled documentary now that is in the works. These two may have already inspired the title for their future documentary.
Combs produced tracks and served as co-Executive Producer on Blige’s virtually timeless second album “My Life.” When it comes to film and album titles or documenting legacies, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The Queen’s court will show up either way.