Can you believe that it's been fifteen years since Mary J. Blige's sophomore album, My Life, came into our lives? Fifteen years since Mary followed up her debut album with one of the most personal bodies of work that an artist has ever produced? What's the 411? let us know Mary's name. My Life let us know and experience Mary's pain. That rawness, that willingness to dig deep and expose her emotional scars is what resonated with any and everyone who listened, making the album a certified classic. A masterpiece, even. So much credit belongs to her then-mentor and manager, Sean "Puffy" Combs, who, while relying heavily on samples, did so perhaps in order to make us more comfortable with the heavy material he needed to pull out of Mary. That combination succeeded in pulling us into her life--flaws and all.
Since this groundbreaking body of work was released fifteen years ago this month, SoulBounce is celebrating the anniversary by declaring November the Month of Mary! Starting tomorrow, a portion of each weekday will be dedicated to the tracks that made up My Life, all leading up to the disc's original release date--November 29th. Throughout the month, we'll have some special treats in honor of the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, and near the end of the month, we'll have a wonderful surprise for every Mary fan, one that took some time and a lot of collaboration to coordinate, but will be well worth the wait.
It's more than a bit ironic that Mary's newest release, Stronger, is scheduled to drop the same week this year as My Life did fifteen years ago. Ironic because this latest album gives us Mary all healed, and beautiful and strong, while My Life was the beginning of her beautiful struggle. Her life lets us know that anything, and everything, is possible. That message makes My Life--and your life, for that matter--worth living to the fullest. So let's do it.
SoulBounce welcomes you to the Month of Mary!