Mary J Blige has just released a new album called Strength of a Woman. I am loving her new song called 'Love Yourself' , particularly the remix with A$AP Rocky. This song speaks to my younger self. She goes for a retro 60's or 70's style in the video (not sure about the exact time period because I am not a fashion history expert..). Everything looks so wealthy and luxurious, there is this infectious piano playing, then trumpet blowing and finally a cool beat 😎, that hooks me from the beginning, I can't help but bob my head in agreement to the lyrics throughout the whole song. It sounds like a real Mary J Blige comeback song. Just like No More Drama she is speaking to the parts of us that are healing and learning from painful situations.
This song should be in a James Bond movie. Come to think of it....why hasn't she been offered the Bond theme song yet?
If you haven't already heard through the hip-hop and R&B grapevine. She's going through a divorce. Allegedly her husband cheated on her, and used her money to go on 'work trips' with his mistress. Wendy Williams reported that throughout the divorce process her husband has been demanding $30,000 a month in alimony from Ms. Blige because he is now used to living a certain life style . He has no children with her, in fact he brought children from his previous relationship into the marriage, and he is demanding money to support all his children and himself. Allegedly most of his children except for one are above 18 years. Which leads me to the assumption that he was basically living off of Mary J Blige and was not making any of his own money? 😲😲😲
I admire Ms Blige because she has been very vulnerable and open about her thoughts and experiences during her divorce, to me she comes across quite sincere in her interviews. In fact I think it's really brave of her to do so. She literally admits to giving this man full control of her career and finances when they got married in order to demonstrate to him how much she believed in him.( I am shocked that she handed over all her hard work just like that... 😮😮😮)You can watch her interview on Breakfast Club here. I watched the whole thing from start to finish and I admired her more for coming across really honest and straight forward, rather than side stepping the issues. This might be the main reason that entices people to buy the album. Which brings me back to the lyrics of this wonderful song called 'Love Yourself' song....
Truth can be the sweetest pain
It can mess up everything
It's the only way you know
I'm payin' for it, I'm changin' for it
This is the great dichotomy of life. As I have written many times the worst moments can sometimes teach the best lessons and so sometimes you can't help but look back and appreciate them. Ms. Blige refers to learning from those moments and says it's really the 'only way you know'. It's very deep, but that's what we love about her music, her ability to really speak to our pain and growth in life. Her ability to be vulnerable in the moment has turned out to be her biggest career strength, which makes the title of the album very appropriate.
I know myself too much to ever fold
Dark clouds, I'm movin' past you
Sometimes when we find ourselves in tough situations, we have to figuratively pick ourselves up and keep walking. Eventually we get through the dark moments and find some sunshine on the other side but not before the soul-defining work of getting through our problem. That' s what the above lyrics mean to me. It is what we call our 'inner strength' which once again alludes to the theme of the album.
Oh, you gotta love yourself
If you really wanna be with someone else
You gotta feed yourself
Before you feed somebody else
You gotta stay open, and don't be foolish
The above lyrics come from the chorus of the song, a repeated message on the importance of self care. We have heard this all before; the cliche new age message, if we don't know how to love ourselves, then how can we know how to really love another? Need I say more? You can watch the video below. Hope you enjoy the message as much as I did.
All photo Credits: Mary J Blige Website