The Anniversary of Mary J. Blige’s My Life: I Can’t Help But ‘Be Happy!’

MARY J BLIGE 1994 THROWBACK, By Shanelle Genai, Posted December 3rd 2020

Nov. 29 marked the 26th anniversary of Mary J. Blige’s sophomore album, My Life. It’s an album filled with stories of trials and triumph, but most importantly it’s a breakthrough album that set the tone for both R&B and Blige’s career trajectory. Boasting fire-ass hits such as “Mary Jane,” “My Life,” “Be Happy,” and the always appropriate karaoke night favorite, “I’m Goin’ Down,” this album cemented itself as one the most influential and quintessential R&B joints of all time. Because of that, Urban Legends along with Soul in the Horn have teamed up to bring a one-of-a-kind 3D experience for fans like myself, to celebrate this iconic anniversary.

In a press release sent to The Root:

“Welcome to My Life,” brings a [groundbreaking] artist and one of her most significant projects to her most dedicated fans via an innovative platform in an era when at-home entertainment is more important than ever. Custom-built so fans can interact with one another as well as with digital concierges designed to guide them on-demand throughout the journey, UMe’s Urban Legends and Soul in the Horn provide VIP access to My Life’s music, performances, visuals and more.

I got the chance to play around in this digital world and let me tell y’all, it was pretty lit. As I went further into the experience, I got to listen to track-by-track commentary from Mary J where she discussed the background story behind each song as well as the musical influences that served as inspiration. There was also a dope area that took a look into her fashions and most notable lewks. Speaking of fashions, they also had a merch area with hoodies and shirts to commemorate the 25th anniversary and a showcasing of her recently released Sun Goddess wine. But perhaps the most enjoyable moment of the digital experience was the “lounge” where I was able to watch a throwback interview of Blige on Video Soul. (Shoutout to Donnie Simpson!) In their discussion, Blige discussed the impact she hoped this album would make coming off of the heels of What’s The 411? but most importantly, what she hoped fans could take away from it.

 “It’s not just my life, it’s a mirror. [So when you say] it’s my life, no, it’s their life too and [the] things that happened,” Blige explained. “Good and bad situations. It’s just about love and life and things that go on realistically.” She continued, “When you listen to this album, you can see yourself going through the same things or having the same happy times.” Come on, happy times! Lord knows we could use more of those, especially this year.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul will be re-releasing the critically acclaimed album via 2CD, black double vinyl and triple vinyl edition. The 3LP will also be available as a digital release with featured commentary from Mary herself. I know I’ll be copping once it’s here so in the meantime, I’ll just keep practicing my dancery skills.

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