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Mary J. Blige Gives The 411 On Life, Love, And What Makes A Strong Man

n conversation, Mary J. Blige is warm, polite, and considered. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is no less obliging to her fans, with whom she's shared a 21-year-long musical discussion. Fittingly, then, just in time for the holiday season, she has released a gift of sorts with her first yuletide LP, A Mary Christmas, produced by Celine Dion hitmaker David Foster. And while Blige acknowledged during our chat that the title's play on words was too good to pass up, the seasonally themed LP also invited a certain amount of year-'round introspection.

Mary J., 42, spoke with us about what it takes to wear the crown. Here she is, in her own words.

I was conscious about not hurting myself to save the lives of my fans.
When I took control of my life and I said, "No more drama," it was during that time of the No More Drama album, when I was done with drugs, I was done with alcohol, I was done with living a life where I hated myself. I chose not only my life, but my fans, I chose them, too. People love Mary J. Blige, and if I hurt myself or commit suicide — because I was very suicidal then, before I said no more drama —my fans, that can hurt them. That can even kill some of them. So I made the shift thinking about not just my life, but four million people that came with me in this music business and said, "Mary, you saved our lives. We love you."

Whatever rehab, whatever prayer you gotta do, if it means that much to you, you gotta make a change.
I loved Amy Winehouse, and [her death] just really hurt me, because that could have been me. It just reinforces, "OK, Mary, stay strong in this and continue to inspire the people to want to live another day." Because I know how that feels. I know how Amy felt. I know how it feels when you wanna die. But there's so much responsibility when you're an artist or a mom or a dad. You have other people to think about. You have 15 million fans out there to think about, people that really love you. So you gotta get selfless, hard as it is.

Music is therapy.
It's like working out. If you go for a three-mile run and you were feeling grumpy before you went, you come back and you just feel like, "Aah." You write a great song, and you're in the studio with someone, and they're bouncing off of you, and the energy is great, and you listen back to what you did and it's amazing — it's exhilarating. It heals from the lyrical content to even just the color of the music and the way it feels.

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Salaam Remi Selects Winner Of #IsItCusImBlack Sangin' Contest + Drops New "Black Love" Video w/Teedra Moses & DJ D-Nice

We've all seen how married rappers Papoose and Remy have championed the feeling, but now we have the theme song for the movement of "Black Love." Producer to the stars, Salaam Remi has enlisted the talents of the golden voiced siren, Teedra Moses and the world's favorite DJ, D-Nice for this feel good roller-skating jam.

The video, directed by Remi and @itsjustati⁣, takes place on "Black Love Beach" and has Moses dancing freely through the sands and spotlights other couples hugged up and smiling throughout the clip. The rolling bassline and the way the drums hit compliment Moses' high flying vocals of just wanting to love her significant other. Give a big shout out to the wonderful video edits, by Tatiana Crooks, of a quarantining D-Nice interspersed.

You'll be able to find the song on the upcoming full length album by Remi titled Black On Purpose.  What you'll also find on that album is the winner of the #VIBEIsItBecauseImBlackContest

Remi chose the winner, @B_Trenton (Congrats!) and he will be featured on the remixed version of the song, "Is It Cus I'm Black," previously released a few weeks ago. Partnering with VIBE for the search, Remi cycled through the contestants and picked the winner on the connection he felt to his vocals. The prize was being featured on the track along side of Anthony Hamilton, Black Thought, Cee-Lo Green, Syleena Johnson, & Stephen Marley. Check out the IG Live he conducted with B Trenton below.

 

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A post shared by SaLaAMReMi (@salaamremi) on Jul 29, 2020 at 7:59pm PDT

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Video Premiere: Kay Anthony Links With Dot Demo On New Single "Bless Me"

It's a meeting of the dope guys. I say that with all realness as I've been a witness of seeing these two incredible MCs come up and claim their spots these last few years. They have done the solo push through the murky waters of being independent artists, learning the ups and downs of the music industry. After collecting their bumps and bruises, Kay Anthony of Brooklyn and Dot Demo of the Bronx are finally in their full swing of producing songs that showcase their matured sounds and amazing visuals.

Linking on Anthony's newest single, "Bless Me," the fellas flow and find pockets of greatness that will surely be a marker of times to come. The music has a deep pulse feel and is a smoker's delight, with it's wavy bassline and cool out hook: "Asking for the universe to bless..." The visuals, shot by Chapter.02, are smooth and "we outside-ish."

Dot Demo and Kay Anthony are the unexpected duo that you didn't know you needed. Check their latest full projects of music below.

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Cardi B Returns With “WAP” Video Feat. Megan Thee Stallion

After a nine-month music hiatus, Cardi B delivered a new single. The Bronx rapper unveiled the music video for, “WAP,” featuring Meghan Thee Stallion on Friday (Aug. 7).

Ahead of the single's release, Cardi and Meg hopped on YouTube for a live stream session with fans. The colorful music video features guest appearances from Normani, Rosalia and more.

On Tuesday (Aug. 4), Cardi posted an emotional video on Instagram thanking everyone for the positive feedback on the “WAP” announcement and album artwork. The single is also being sold on vinyl and cassette tape.

“Thank ya’ll so much for all the love I received,” Cardi said. “Ya’ll don’t even know how ya’ll had me feeling. I haven’t dropped a song in nine months so I feel like I’m staring all over again. The feeling that I had yesterday, ya’ll really had me tears. From my fans to people that [are] probably not really my fans, they were showing so much love and support for this new song.

“I just wanna say thank ya’ll so much. Ya’ll don’t even know how ya’ll had me feeling,” she continued. “Ya’ll had me f*cking crying.”

 

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Single droppin this Friday! WAP feat. @theestallion #Wap

A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib) on Aug 3, 2020 at 5:00pm PDT

 

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New VINYL OUT NOW ON MY WEBSITE !!! Go Go now ! Link in bio

A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib) on Aug 6, 2020 at 9:07am PDT

The track marks Megan's latest major collaboration after Beyonce joined her on “Savage” remix, which landed the Houston rapper her first No. 1 single. “Wap” could end up being the second chart-topper for both Cardi and Meg.

Watch the music video below.

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