Archive for the ‘Mary J. Blige’ Category

That Other Mary

Friday, March 7th, 2008

I like to end the week on a lighter note whenever possible.

I’m always amused when my younger friends talk about old-school hip hop music and new school hip-hop music. I don’t have the faintest idea what they’re talking about. I stopped paying attention to music in earnest in 1991 when Gladys Knight left the Pips. All the soul groups I grew up listening to had split up or faded off the scene by then, and I be darned if I was gonna plunk down money on music I couldn’t understand.

New school music, however, is not completely lost on me. From time to time a singer  comes along that makes me forget that mail from the AARP arrives in my box weekly.  I like everything India Arie and most things Jill Scott. But put on a tune by Aretha Franklin (”Don’t Play that Song for Me”) or Deniece Williams (”Silly”) or Oleta Adams (”I Just Had to Hear Your Voice”) or Roberta Flack (”First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”), and I’m apt to throw my lunch money at you.

But before heading out to the airport for a week of travel I remembered to download a tune onto my Ipod I’d caught on the VH-1 channel. Mary J. Blige was singing and telling her story. I liked what I heard. I even liked the young woman I saw (minus the blonde wig, of course). The girl can sing. She also has a lot of soul. If you’re old school, you know what I mean. Mary J. was singing the song that has become something of her anthem, “No More Drama.”

In my old age senility, I managed to click the wrong button and downloaded a different Mary J. Blige tune onto my Ipod.  I’m so glad that I clicked the wrong button. The Lord knows what you need, when you need it. The wrong Mary J. tune ended up being the right Mary J. tune to listen to as I find myself this week at a “chopping high cotton” hotel here in New York where I’m probably the only black woman walking the halls of the hotel who’s not a part of the housekeeping staff.

If you’re a woman and you don’t have Mary J. Blige’s “Just Fine” as part of your music collection, get it.

Believe me when I tell you that working out on the ellipitical machine goes better when you’ve got “Just Fine” blasting in your ears.  The white guy working out next to me could barely read his newspaper for glancing over at the black woman singing at the top of her lungs, head rocking, one hand on one elliptical bar, the other hand high in the air with fingers snapping.

Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh
Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh
Just fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh
You see I won’t change my life, my life’s just fine

I aint gon’ let nothing get in my way
(I ain’t gone let nobody bring me down, no, no, no)
No matter what nobody has to say
(No way, no way, no way)
I ain’t gon’ let nothing get in my way
No matter what nobody has to say

Makes me wanna go out and buy myself a blonde wig.