Keeping the theme of soft string openings, this week’s track is coming from the Ms. Mary J. Blige. Curating hip-hop soul over the last 26 years, Mary J. Blige is credited for merging hip hop and R&B music, coining her the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul”. The track “All That I Can Say”, was released in 1999 off Mary J. Blige’s fourth studio album, “Mary”. Written and produced by Ms. Lauyrn Hill, who also sings back up on this track; this song possesses a symphonic soulful sound, perfectly landing it on the “Warm the Soul” playlist. With a harp-like intro, the track isn’t like Mary’s typical hip hop driven tracks from her first three albums, but showcases her ability to deliver a more 70s soulful side. Mary delivers a richer and sophisticated tone to this track, setting it apart from her prior work. One of my personal favorites from Mary J. Blige and there are lots to choose from! If you are looking to sprinkle some soul into your day, give this classic Mary J. Blige track a listen!
Mary J. Blige entered the music scene as a backing singer on Uptown Records in 1989. In 1993, Blige released her first album, “What’s the 411?’ which dubbed her as the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul. As of today, Blige’s total body work includes eight studio albums, numerous collaborative efforts, with artist ranging from Method Man to U2, a successful acting career, and several other ventures. African American scholars have noted the implications of Blige’s presentation and representation of black womanhood and femininity in the male-dominated sphere of hip-hop. Blending the vocal techniques of rapping in hip hop with aspirational messages in R&B, Blige is credited to articulating the black women’s experiences. And that is one of the many reasons why I’m happy to add her to this playlist!
You can learn more about Mary J. Blige here:
About The Curator - Lyris Greene
Lyris Greene is a disk jockey (dj) hailing from Nashville, TN, now residing in Atlanta, Ga. Lyris’s name is derived from the word “lyric”, meaning words of a song. Lyris gravitated to music immediately as a child, influenced by her father’s passion for music. At nine years old, Lyris began collecting her own music collection, discovering and developing her connection with music. Now, Lyris is a full time dj and music curator, spending her days consuming and creating custom music experiences to connect people. Lyris feels her life’s purpose is pretty simple, “To spread love through the art of music.”