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‘Mary J. Blige’s My Life’ Documentary Review

Mary J. Blige’s My Life documentary marks the 25th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album ‘My Life’ released in 1994. The documentary touches on the rise of Mary— from her troubled days of living in the projects of Schlobohm Houses— to how she became such a global superstar. Read Celebrity Myxer’s review of the film!

Mary J. Blige's 'My Life' Emotional Interview

Mary J. Blige’s ‘My Life’ Emotional Interview

As a child, Mary was exposed to music from her parents. Her father (Thomas Blige) had an eclectic taste, while her mother would often sing around the house. “I would try to mimic anybody that my mother listened to,” Mary said.

Some of these names included ‘The Staple Singers, Gladys Knight, and Aretha Franklin’. And yet, it was another song that resonated with Mary; Roy Ayers’ ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine.’ Her life was anything but sunshine. Growing up in a rough neighborhood was not easy.

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“I wanted to make this documentary for them [fans]. To give them more insight into who I was and who I am now, where I’ve come from.”

Mary recalled living in fear; violence was a daily occurrence. Mary “could remember hearing women being beaten. My mother was one of those women.” Her life began to spiral out of control. Mary resorted to drugs, alcohol, and just about anything to escape the darkness.

This would only fuel her pain. She admitted asking herself, “I don’t even understand why we’re living here?” But her life’s purpose soon came—Mary’s record of a tape at a mini studio ended up going to Andre Harrel (Founder of Uptown Records). Mary would sing for Andre, and the rest was history.

Freshly aboard on his record label, Andre spoke on how he knew she was special. He told Mary’s family, “Your daughter Mary is gonna sing for royalty.” Her musical career soon took off! In the aftermath of the ‘crack epidemic,’ Mary’s rise struck a chord with the younger generation.

Throwback Mary J. Blige

One of those to witness that progression was music mogul Sean Love Combs (Diddy). It was under his tutelage that Mary became a star. Her debut album, ‘What’s the 411?’, went triple platinum.

“There was a lot of young black women who could relate to where she came from.”

And as Puffy said those words, Mary became a fashion icon. She became the very Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. She was “ghetto fabulous, and Mary was the Queen of the movement,” said Misha Hylton (her then stylist). With success came a longing to be accepted. Mary had left her whole life behind, but her singing was merely blocking her demons.

Mary, who had been so used to fending for herself, did something that was so uncharacteristic of herself. She entered into a romantic relationship with musician K-Ci. “I just fell in love with him,” she said.

Mary J. Blige's 'My Life' Documentary Review

That love would break her. The relationship was marred by abuse, and their respective stardom in the industry became too much to handle. And yet, her decision to continue in a relationship that was failing led to her greatest success; the ‘My Life’ 1994 album.

“My Life… it was a cry for help.” 

She soon realized her life was ‘not sunshine’ at all. By letting it all out, Mary created one of the most iconic albums of all time. The project detailed her struggles with childhood trauma, depression, and sour relationships. “Mary gave us a face, she gave us a name, and she gave us a story,” said Taraji Henson.

Mary J. Blige Wins Award At 2019 BET Awards

Mary has gone on to inspire a whole generation. In her battle, she admitted very plainly the choice she had, “You choose life, or you choose death, and I chose life.” 

That is the symbol that Mary represents to this day. Mary J. Blige’s My Life documentary debuts on Amazon Prime on June 25th, 2021. Make sure you check it out! If you love Mary, share your comments below

Photo credits: Amazon Content Services & BET

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About the Author
Hasib Afzal is a writer on a mission to give you a low-down on the best TV shows, movies and celebrity news. Dream it, believe it, do it. Follow me on TikTok below www.tiktok.com/@funnyart4everyone
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