What the hell is Mary J. Blige doing?

Sure, her record sales are in decline-so’s everyone’s! Just when you thought the Queen of Hip-Hop soul had learned her lesson after her first Diddy-related fiasco, 2003’s Love & Life, she’s re-teamed with Mr. Combs for “Someone to Love Me (Naked)”, a slight revision of a track that originally appeared on Diddy’s Last Train to Paris CD and is the first single from Mary’s upcoming My Life II set. You know there’s an issue when artists start referencing their most highly regarded works in new album titles, right?

For most of the song, Mary’s a glorified hook girl, a role she outgrew something like fifteen years ago. It’s catchy enough, but Mary’s at a stage when you’re not really looking for “catchy”, you’re looking for soulful. Truthfully, Mary was never even at that first stage. Diddy adds nothing to the song, Lil Wayne comes up with a handful of good lines but damn…talk about regression. She even looks uncomfortable in the video. Mary turned 40 this year. Why is she trying to make records that appeal to 22 year olds? Didn’t 2009’s Drake-assisted fiasco “The One” serve as a warning of sorts? As my man Mark Jackson would say: Mary, you’re better than that. Don’t fall into the trap.

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