17 Times Mary J. Blige Felt All The Feels So You Wouldn’t Have To

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul continues to evolve.

Via Capitol Records

Two new Mary J. Blige songs hit the internet this week; “Therapy,” co-written by Sam Smith, and “Whole Damn Year,” produced by Naughty Boy.

Her album, The London Sessions, isn’t out until Nov. 24, but the tracks point to a new creative process that seems to have recharged Blige’s sound.

The music is more stripped-down than recent releases from Blige — some even feature live jazz-style instrumentation or doo wop harmonizing. Overall, she goes more for emotion than the raw energy that she’s known for, because part of being a queen is knowing how to harness your power.

1. But make no mistake: Mary still knows you better than you know yourself.

“Whole Damn Year” describes how it took an entire year to bounce back from heartbreak after a longterm relationship hit the rails, as she sings: “It took a whole damn year to repair my body / It took a whole damn year / It took a whole damn year to repair my body / It’s been a bad five years.”

And here’s more 16 times Mary knew what you felt when you felt all the feels.

2. When she was like, It’s you and me, bae, FTW. — “All I Need,” Method Man feat. Mary J. Blige, 1995

Def Jam / Via share.gifyoutube.com

3. When she realized she was totally underappreciated but wasn’t going to cry about it. —”Not Gon’ Cry,” 1996

Arista Records / Via media.giphy.com

Mary got tired of being “your lover and your secretary / Working every day of the week,” and left his self-absorbed ass behind. An anthem for women who’ve overextended themselves in relationships and gotten little in return.

4. When she faced heartbreak head-on and couldn’t help but cry it out. —”I’m Goin’ Down,” 1994

Uptown/MCA / Via funkydineva.com

Her cover of Rose Royce’s 1976 song “I’m Going Down,” far outshined the original and taught a new generation of women that heartbreak hurts, damnit. Ain’t no shame in shedding a tear or two.

5. When she walked up in the party like, This is cool, but watch me turn this bitch up. —”Family Affair,” 2001

MCA / Via tumblr.com

She legit just wanted to have a good time dancing with her girls, so she let everyone know there was no time for “hateration, holleration / in this dancery.”

6. When she realized she needed to get rid of toxic people. —”No More Drama,” 2001

MCA / Via tumblr.com

Haters to the left, Mary basically said.

7. When there was this guy she liked who was in a relationship, but Mary knew she could be a better GF. —”I Can Love You,” 1997

MCA / Via tumblr.com

“I know that you / Wish that you could be my man / ‘Cause I can love better than she can.”

It’s a little skeevy, but what is Mary if not honest?

8. When she understood she’d never be happy if she didn’t love herself first. —”Be Happy,” 1993

Geffen Records / Via share.gifyoutube.com

“How can I love somebody else / When I can’t love myself enough to know / When it’s time, time to let go?”

9. When she knew he was a bad boy, but she dated him anyway. —”Mr. Wrong” feat. Drake, 2011

“Bad boys aint no good / Good boys aint no fun / Lord knows that I should / Run off with the right one.” Sound familiar?

10. When she had no time for negative vibes. —”Just Fine,” 2009

Geffen

“So I like what I see when I’m looking at me / When I’m walking past the mirror / Ain’t worried about you and what you gonna do / I’m a lady so I must stay classy.”

11. When she was like, I work hard, a lil drink ain’t gon hurt nobody.

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Oh you fancy, huh?

12. When she made peace with the fact that everyone won’t accept her for who she really is. —”Deep Inside,” 1998

MCA

“So I made the choice to be / good to those who are good to me,” which she declared over an Elton John sample, no less!

13. When she was so damn happy she couldn’t even find the words. —”All That I Can Say,” 1999

MCA

“I wish I could find a way / To tell you how I felt that day / But I can’t (I just can’t).”

14. This time she was clearly just feelin’ herself.

Via CBS

With the gold mic in her hand, because she knows the best and just wants to bask for a minute.

15. When she was like, Do you, Boo, ‘cause I’m doing me. —”Can’t Knock the Hustle,” Jay Z feat. Mary J. Blige, 1996

“I’m just tryna get mine / I don’t have the time / To knock the hustle for real.”

(Although for some reason, Mary isn’t in the video for this one. Bad move, Hov.)

16. When all she was searchin’ for was a real love. —”Real Love,” 1992

Uptown

This one speaks for itself, really.

17. When she finally found a relationship worth holding on to. —”Be Without You,” 2005

Geffen / Via media.giphy.com

“See baby we been… / Too strong for too long (and I can’t be without you baby) / And I’ll be waiting up until you get home (‘cause I can’t sleep without you baby) / Anybody who’s ever loved, ya know just what I feel / Too hard to fake it, nothing can replace it.”

Watch the trailer for The London Sessions here.

youtube.com / Via VEVO

And here’s a gif of MJB dancing and just generally being a boss that you can watch over and over again until Nov. 24, probably.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/driadonnaroland/17-times-mary-j-blige-felt-all-the-feels-so-you-wouldnt-have

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