Black Music Month (BMM) #2

I have to admit that I’m still stuck on 90’s r&b music. The early 90’s to mid 90’s was a phenomenal time for black women singers. There was a great selection of solo singers (e.g. Brandy) to  girl groups (e.g. Brownstone). There was a such a variety of looks with the women and fly fashions, you could get in where you fit in.  The black beauty standard is much more narrower, these days. I used to stay at the music store buying tapes (heh).

The biggest shift in the music scene, at the time, was the merging of r&b and hip hop or  “hip hop soul.”

“Hip hop soul (or rap soul) is sub-genre of contemporary R&B which fuses R&B, neo soul, and dance elements with hip hop. The term did not originate until the promotion for Mary J. Blige‘s debut album What’s the 411? in 1992 when Uptown Records proclaimed her to be the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul” and generally describes a style of music that blends soulful R&B singing and raw hip hop production. The genre served as a middle point between two other hip hop/R&B blends.”

Of course, you always have to give props to Mary J Blige, when talking about this genre of music. She is considered the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul.”

“A recipient of nine Grammy Awards, in addition to receiving a record of thirty Grammy nominations, eight of Blige’s albums have reached multi-platinum status in the United States. My Life, in particular, is considered among the greatest albums ever recorded according to Rolling Stone,[1] Time,[2] and Vibe. For her part in combining hip-hop and soul in the early-1990s and its subsequent commercial success, Blige received the Legends Award at the World Music Awards. Blige also received the Voice of Music Award from music publishing company ASCAP, with its official Jeanie Weems stating that “[Blige’s] music has been the voice of inspiration to women worldwide in both struggle and triumph.”[3] Blige made Time magazine’s “Time 100” list of influential individuals around the world in 2007.[4]”

I remember watching Video Soul and immediately liking her in the debut video, “You Remind Me.” There was something interesting about her voice. Since that time, Mary has sang her ups and downs. She has been honest about the things she has gone through (addiction) and still struggles with, because life is a journey. She has tried to empower other black women, in her own way. I’m not surprised she’s around 25 years later, she’s an original.

I used to bump the hell out of the remix of “You Remind Me.”


I got a flashback!