Mary J. Blige Music Videos: A History
Onstage, she wears an all-black costume, topped with black fur and sunglasses to enhance the dramatic flair. The most memorable part of the video? Rows of Blige duplicates descending a white staircase. My life, which sold over 3 million copies, also documented a harsh period of depression for Blige. In his Amazon documentary released last year, My life, she confessed her inner turmoil while doing the project. “It was still heavy for me when everyone was like, ‘Oh my God, this album has done so much for me. This album saved my life.’ When I was still stuck in hell.
“I Can Love You” feat. Lil’ Kim (1997)
The second single from Blige’s third album, share my worldreached number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the album itself debuted as number one on the Billboard 200. “I Can Love You” features a cameo appearance from legendary Queen Bee Lil’ Kim and lyrically displays the duo trying to persuade a potential lover to love them back.
Despite the intense nature of the song, we see Blige — in a cascade of blonde curls — still enjoying a party with Kim. While love and heartbreak have been central to much of Blige’s music, the star has been open about the double standards between famous women and men when it comes to dating. In a 1997 interview with rolling stone, Blige remarked, “Men can sleep with 30 women and get away with it. I can not.
“All I Can Say” (1999)
In the visuals of “All That I Can Say”, from 1999 Married, we see the artist up to his knees in a surreal dreamlike sequence. From bluer-than-blue skies to horses marching through the streets, it was a palpable change from his previous video treatments. The love she sings makes her airy and light. Lyrically, Blige ventures into more poetic territory, the result of Lauryn Hill herself writing, producing and arranging the track.
“Family Affair” (2001)
This renowned club banger from 2001 was Blige’s lead single from her fifth studio album, More drama. “Family Affair” was also his first number one Hot 100 hit. Not only did he add the terms hatred and howl in the modern lexicon (dance is a real word), her video has inspired a slew of fashions. From Blige’s denim patchwork shorts to her asymmetrical bob, it was clear she was embracing this lighter persona. An appearance by Dr. Dre, who will perform alongside Blige at this year’s Super Bowl, is no friendly coincidence, however; he co-wrote and produced the song.
“Not Today” feat. Eve (2003)
The first moments of “Not Today”, which is the third single of 2003 Love lifedisplay excerpts of a scene from the film Barbershop 2: back to business, which was also released the same year. (The song was a promotional soundtrack for the film.)