Today, marks 22 years since the release of Mary J. Blige’s debut album, on Uptown Records “What’s the 411.” As a huge fan of both Mary and her music, I can still remember the summer that It dropped like it was yesterday. Who knew that she would go on to have such a powerful place in music.
July 28, 1992, I remember being in Newark, New Jersey with my Grandma Maxine and reminding her that this CD was one of the things I asked for as a birthday gift. She quickly reminded me that my birthday was over but she said, “I will get it because I am tired of hearing about it”
Although I had heard several of the singles, there was nothing like having that CD in my possession. I played it so much, that my grandma knew the lyrics. I absorbed her every word, some I understood and some didn’t. However, I collected all of the life, knowledge and pain that she poured into that body of work because I just knew that one day it would be relevant.
Over the years, Mary has continued to make amazing music that has been the soundtrack to myself and many women’s lives. Throughout her life’s ups and downs, she has consistently shared it with us through her music, she is the reigning, undisputed queen of hip-hop soul; and it all began 22 years ago with this CD. Thanks for the information (411) Mary, your music changed my life.