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Mary J. Blige: I Wanna Be Your Dog (NY Rock)
Let me get right to the point: I simply love Mary J. Blige. Now, you may think that these are strange words coming from a woman but let me explain by saying (1) Mary J. is the baad-est thing to come out on plastic in years – one look and you know it, (2) her voice is as cool and soothing as spring water – I hear even white people dig it – and (3) all right, yes, I'm gay.

When I brought Share My World home, my girlfriend Melissa took a look at the CD and complained that it contained shot after shot of Mary's precious mug in the liner material. I found myself of the opposite mind – the phrase "the more the merrier" kept popping in my head.

The Village Voice made the astute observation that in just about every photo of Blige her thighs are spread "gap-legged." According to the Voice, "Instead of ‘kiss my ass,' Mary coyly challenges: ‘Eat my pussy.'"

To which I say, look me up honey, we'll talk.

Meantime, let's you and me talk a little about the girl's art. Blige's music is a cool blend of hip-hop and R&B with a touch of jazz that sneaks in every now and again (check out George Benson's guitar on "Seven Days"). It's smooth erotic stuff, for sure. Now you may be tiring of this theme but, I'm sorry, it's what Mary's all about. It's why her third album, Share My World, is currently number one in the country. Mary clearly wants to be loved and, for right now at least, the world seems to be willing to accommodate her.

Blige's songs are catchy and accessible, her voice is as soft as mink, and then there's her looks: Why is she so beautiful? It's her attitude, stupid. Blige is a thick, maybe even somewhat pudgy, girl but, simply put, she's got the power. (I'm not quite sure what "the power" is but I know, for sure, she's got it.)

Blige found her way from the housing projects of Yonkers, NY to fame in a fairly rapid manner – her debut album, What’s the 411?, sold a cool 5 million copies. Along the way, she gained the reputation as someone whose personal life has not been without its fair share of turmoil, including several stormy relationships and bouts of drug and alcohol abuse. To this, she says:

"I'm happy now... See, somebody's gonna try to mess with me on that. Struggle is still my life... It's not like I'm on some happy-go-lucky shit. I'm just happy with myself. To hell with what everybody else is thinking."

About the new CD, she says, "This album feels so good to me. When I listen to it, it's like, I've got to praise the Lord," (which she does numerous times in the liner notes). "I worked so hard on [Share My World]. I gave it everything I had. I gave the Mary that wanted to be in charge of her career. The Mary that is still in the struggle."

Blige has sworn off booze and drugs and claims to be seeing life in a much more positive light these days – she has gotten religion in a big and serious way. As for men, Mary seems to have sworn them off too. She says, "Everybody gets lonely and wants somebody to do whatever, but I'm to the point in my life now where I don't even think about men."

To which I say, look me up honey, we'll talk.

May 1997

More Mary J. Blige:
  • Aug 28, 2001 - Mary J. Blige Kicks Off Album Release with TV, Store, Internet and Radio Visits
  • Jul 26, 2001 - Mary J. Blige Joins Celebrity Women as a Guest Star on "Strong Medicine" Sunday, August 5, 2001; Debuts New Single "PMS" From Her Upcoming Album on Episode
  • Oct 13, 2000 - Mary to perform at UN for HIV/AIDS awareness
  • June 6, 2000 - Mary kicks off tour and presents half a million dollars to AIDS charities
  • April 1998 - Mary J. Blige and Usher: No Circus Side Show

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- Erykah Badu
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- Morcheeba
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- Skunk Anansie

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