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July 25, 2011  | by: Katherine Polanco

Mary J. Blige

Last night, VH1 aired “Behind the Music” featuring R&B superstar Mary J. Blige.  The special consisted of Mary speaking about her childhood, living in the Schlobohm Projects, being molested, a breaking point in her life, Diddy’s help as a friend and much more.

Didn’t you just miss “Behind the Music”?  I love how the show allows us to connect to people we hold on such a pedestal. It allows us to see that celebrities are people just like you and I.  Check out some highlights from the special below:

On Her Adolescent Years
“I don’t remember wanting to be a star, I just remember the music feeling so good.  It always felt like it was going through me, and I could feel it in my stomach.[...]By the time we moved to Yonkers, to Schlobohm [Projects], it was just, you know, every man for themselves.  It was like survive or die. All the women around were being beaten by men, their self esteem was low; these are the women you’re watching every single day.  I’ve seen women destroyed, I’ve head their screams thru the walls as a child from being abused by men.  And so that really made everything worse.  By the time I was a teenager I was crazy.” 

On Being Molested as a Child
“When I was 5 years old I was molested and just, you know.  I remember feeling, literally right before it happened, I just could not believe that this person was going to do this to me.…That thing followed me all my life. The shame of thinking my molestation was my fault.  It led me to believe I wasn’t worth anything.”

On Turning Her Life Around
“When I said no more drama, man did I mean that. I was tired of beating up on myself. I was tired of feeling like I wanted to die.  I was tired and tired and tired. It was the beginning of something that was the hardest thing for me to do. And that’s to really get out of the comfort zone of being miserable.”

“This could have been a tragic story. Every single chapter… I am the living proof that any person going through any kind of tragic situation in their lives. Any molestation, any self-hatred, anything terrible, you can get out, you can make it.”

On Hitting Rock Bottom & Quitting Drinking
“The problem had snowballed into this thing that was bigger than me.  It was bigger than me.  And it was definitely going to kill me.  So I was like this is it and let’s go.     And I remember sitting on my bed.  I swear, I don’t know what death feels like, but I felt like my spirit was trying to leave my body.  And I was crying, and I was going please God, no no, not now, I don’t want this.  I prayed, like I remember saying a prayer I said God, send me someone to help me.”

“And for some reason, I needed that. Because [Kendu] asked me, you know, why are you drinking?  Ding! Answer, you hate yourself.  So it was the questions that made me say eureka.  Why you drinking?  I hate me.  Why do you hate you?  You’re supposed to love you? That day was the beginning of our friendship, and him talking to me and helping me. I have a life right now.  I have a life because of that phone call.”

“The best thing that you can do to me [is] to challenge me to challenge myself. When I stopped drinking, it was will power.  It was prayer. It was really hard. But I cared so much about [Kendu], I didn’t wanna just be this alcoholic burden on him.  He doesn’t deserve for me to just be some you know, slum bucket alcoholic. And so, I took responsibility and I, cleaned up as much as I could. But it was hard.”

On Her Friendship With Diddy
“I love Puffy.  If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t have made it this far in my career, because he pushed me, challenged me to challenge myself.  And I love that.”

A few of Mary’s closest friends, including her husband Kendu, commented on their friendships with her:

Diddy: “I remember when Mary came in, everything was so glamorous in R&B. I was looking at Mary like, trying to make her glamorous would be the wrong move.  She was raw, she represented the streets, so I wanted her image to reflect that.  That’s why we went to the combat boots.  I wanted her to represent a girl from the hood.”

Kendu: “And she’s like “Well I don’t wanna be hurt no more.” I was like, what we’re gonna talk about and deal with is gonna begin the healing process. It’s almost like if you, had this wound on your hand, and it was healing incorrectly, and now you have a scab on top of it, but inside it’s all infected. The hurt is gonna come from the removing of the scab so that we can treat it properly.”

Andre Harrell: “It was like everybody could grow up, no matter what hood they came in, and be great.  Not only can Obama be great, but Mary J. Blige can be great and you can be great.  That’s what I felt like when I was watching it on television.  I felt the hope.”

Jimmy Iovine: “Mary literally takes her experience in her life and puts it through every record.  It’s so powerful to watch her growth as a person and have it be reflected on that album… Mary’s a powerhouse.  I mean, they don’t just come along every day.”

Check out a clip of the special HERE.  The special will re-air tomorrow, July 26th, at 4pm.

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