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Its hard to believe its been seventeen years since the Queen of Hip Hop Soul released one of her best works to date “My Life“,and now Mary J. Blige has returned with the highly-anticipated sequel, “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1).”

And from the very first time I heard the title, I had reservations. I immediately became annoyed with the fact that artist always want to recreate masterpieces … some things should be left alone. My Life was such a powerfully classic album, with no features, plenty of samples and a plethora of emotion, with that album Mary signed  her name in script on the core’s of our hearts. Could she do it again 17 years later?

“It’s not a competitor. It’s a sequel. In a extension of how far we’ve come,” Mary tells Diddy on the album’s introduction. “Not saying that pain doesn’t exist no more in our life, but now we understand how to navigate.

Well let me go back up to the front of this bus and get a transfer, because this sequel is at a stand still, and I’m in a rush. I’m sorry MJB fans but I was expecting just a bit more. I needed at least half the emotion My Life gave me, It shows up a few times during the duration of the album, but it’s not consistent. Tracks like The Dark Child produced ‘Aint Nobody‘ and ‘Feel Inside’ featuring Nas give me everything I hoped the album would be, but they are drowned out by the dreadful current single ‘Mr. Wrong’ feat. Drake and ‘Why’ featuring Rick Ross which both are mixtape singles at best. The label clearly thought because these were two of the hottest rappers in the game, that it would translate into amazing singles. It didn’t. I wish they would have taken the lead from My Life and left the features for another album and concentrated on the feeling of a true sequel, not necessarily trying to top the original, but showing where she is now as far as growth and music. Mary is a legend, and I expected so much more. It’s not the worse album in the world, but it ain’t the best either.

2.5 out of 5 Stars from me.

-Rae

So, Mary J. Blige delivers her current project titled My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1). Is this album a continuation of the very first My Life? Absolutely not. Sometimes there is no need to rehash or bring back certain occurrences to the forefront. The past is the past and should remain where? In the past. Classic albums like My Life are very hard to come after and emulate, especially in this day and age. Mary’s current project did not make that mark and at the same time it sounds very forced. Technology is more driven in this age and time, therefore, an artist tends to get sucked-in through the music and at the end of the day you can never get a feel on the song with the vocals and music combined.

If I had to re-titled the album I would call it the The Forced My Life…I Am Trying To Make This Journey (Act 1). Hopefully with Act 2 MJB will come back with more classic and memorable tracks, less features and great production with more piano, strings, etc. I personally want Mary to just go for blood in the studio.

I believe in you Mary and I know you can do it. My Life II is an “OK” album but just not a follow-up of the classic Mary that we all know.

2 of 5 Stars from me.

-Gabriel

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