Mary J. Blige spoke candidly with Angie Martinez of Power 105.1 in New York about her divorce and upcoming album. This interview was the realist conversation ever. Blige’s divorce has been very public and we all know how her ex-husband is asking for spousal support amongst other things that Blige describes as “bull.”

Blige talks about how she is surviving the “divorce thing” and that she has hope in the future. “I have to keep loving myself even when people don’t love me no more.” She gets really personal about her desperation for love and what that desperation led too.

The new album, Strength of a Woman, is due out April 28th, collaborations include Kanye West, who is featured on the single, “Love Yourself.” Missy Elliot, Quevo from the Migos, and Dj Khalid are on the record “Glow Up.” Blige expresses how she enjoys the Migos. “Bad and Boujee played nonstop at my birthday party.” This album will be a reflection on her life currently, newly single and will serve as affirmations and encouragement to those who listen. “You can’t give up” she states. “I’m still standing.”

Mary J. Blige has always had a way of being vulnerable in her music, classics like, Be Happy, Not Gon’ Cry, No More Drama and Be Without You are soundtracks to many a broken heart or the perseverance of real love. Martinez states, how it pisses her off when people say that Blige has the best music when she is “sad.”

“It sucks, but it is what it is.” replied the artist.

A movie was featured at Sundance, in January, where Blige, plays the character Florence. It is based in the 1940’s about how Black Americans and White Americans should learn to love each other in difficult times. “Like right now,” Martinez jokes. Blige mentions how she had to go bare to take on the role. No lashes, wigs, or nails. “It was difficult; I almost didn’t do it.” The film is set to come to theatres in the fall.

She discusses the mishap and the hilarious clip (which has become social media memes) of the interview with Hillary Clinton, that shows the star singing a song to the presidential candidate about how Black mothers feel about their children.

The 2017 Essence Festival is in July, Blige curated the lineup and will headline, feature acts; Lalah Hathaway, Jasmine Sullivan, Chaka Khan, Monica, Jill Scott, the Jones girls and many more.

Kerri L. Hill