Live to Inspire. #Jamla
The term "Rhythm & Blues" for 80s kids for the most part consisted of people older enough to be your mama or daddy. Better yet, most of everyone that made up the R&B genre was "uncle" or "auntie"; from the outfits, all the way down to the subject matter (Grown Folks Music if you will). There were a few R&B artists that were tailor made for teenagers, but none that had satisfied our ever growing love for the gritty sounds of a drum break and a sample (New Jack Swing came awful close). While New Edition, Guy, and Boyz II Men became Hip-Hop's "crooners", we had yet to designate who our crowing "Diva" was. Entering the summer of the 1992 (the summer before my senior year of high school) rang a song on the airways that shook the ground and redefined what R&B was; "You Remind Me" by a singer from New York City named Mary J Blige. No glittery gown, no heels, no big hairdo, just a singer who dressed like MC Lyte/Queen Latifah/Salt N Pepa but SINGING, with drumbreaks and samples as her backdrop featuring MC's as duets. It was a dream come true for us, someone that spoke our language and looked the part(The baseball jerseys in Real Love), and someone who's music had the knock we needed. I always argue that her second album, "My Life" is the best R&B STILL in the last 25 years.....but THIS one (complete with ALL of the remixes) was the one that made me fall in love. When I became "9th Wonder", I wanted to give her a beat that had that same sound I fell in love with 25 years ago.....(Good Woman Down)......so THANK you and Happy 25th Anniversary to @therealmaryjblige's "What's The 411".....the NUMBER ONE DIVA of my generation, of hip-hop, and of the culture.....