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Mary J. reflects on ‘Love and Life’

The ‘Queen of Hip-Hop’ teams up with P. Diddy again for latest effort.
/ Source: TODAY

She’s won two Grammy’s, been donned the queen of hip-hop soul, owns more shoes than Imelda Marcos, and worked with P. Diddy when he was still Sean Puffy. Mary J. Blige’s music has crossed various genres and most recognize at least one of her songs. In her newest cd, titled “Love and Life,” she’s teamed up with her old time pal, P. Diddy and the singles are already dominating air waves.

Eleven years after successfully combining soulful R&B with the edgy, urban, rap sound, hip hop queen Mary J. Blige is back — hitting the streets this week with her latest album, “Love & Life.”

“I’m still Mary J. Blige,” she says. “My music represents a certain culture and the culture is hip hop.”

Street tough and beautiful, Blige joined forces with rap’s bad boy, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Together they cranked out hits in the early 90s. But after two successful CDs Mary and Combs went their separate ways.

“Everyone doesn’t move on the time that you want them to move so you have to be patient with them and then you have to know where to draw the line,” says Blige.

Collaborating with a new team of producers Mary softened her image and in 2001 reinvented her career with “No More Drama.”

Now, after almost 10 years apart, P. Diddy and Mary are together again.

And while some of the creative differences that caused them to go their separate ways remained, the undeniable chemistry between the two makes for great music.

She’s now 32, happily engaged and turned her life away from the drugs, and violence and looking forward to being happy and living a positive life.

Blige says, “Mary is on a journey to learning who Mary is. My album represents love and life.”