TBT: “What’s the 411?” Mary J. Blige
For this week’s throwback thursday I’ll be talking about one of my personal favorites when it comes to throwback: Mary J. Blige’s 1992 hit album “What’s the 411?”. This album is arguably what gave Mary J. Blige the title of Queen of hip-hop soul. Some would even say she pioneered the whole genre of hip-hop soul. This album is definitely a feel good album for me. The short 12 song album makes for a perfect piece to listen to whenever you feel like hearing some good 90s R&B.
My favorite songs include “Real Love” and “You Remind Me”. The upbeat almost 80s sounding style in “Real Love” in my opinion gives off a summer song vibe that just makes you wanna get up and start dancing. If you’re into upbeat early 90s bops this is definitely your track. “You Remind Me” is one of my all time favorite throwback songs. The intro is incredibly long, with very little music playing in the background while Mary just sings a few lines showing off her amazing vocal range. Mary manages to mix the beats from 90s rap and the rhythm and soul from 90s R&B to create a whole new category that we all know and love: Hip-Hop/Soul. Mary J. Blige is definitely a Queen I will be writing about more than once.
She uses her crazy vocal range and unique sound to really show the emotion behind her lyrics. It’s hard to still find artists nowadays who really display their vocal abilities. I find many artists go for the songs with heavy bass drops and would rather “sing rap” than belch their vocals. However, there’s definitely still some post-R&B divas out there who are not afraid to wear their heart on their sleeves, put their emotions in their words and show us what they can do vocally. I don’t always like to compare artists, usually I do it when determining artists styles or genres, however, I haven’t listened to a single artist who compares to Mary. So, if you want to spend your time in the shower trying to hit those Blige notes or need a new short little album to paint to this album is perfect for you.