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July 25, 2022

Mary J. Blige: What's the 411? (1992). The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Gets Crowned

Mary J. Blige: What's the 411? (1992). The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Gets Crowned

B. Cox looks back at Mary J. Blige's debut classic album What's the 411? as it turns 30. As the youngest signee of Andre Harrell's Uptown Records, the New York-born singer was brought under the tutelage of producer and executive Sean "Diddy" Combs for debut album. Utilizing samples of popular hip-hop records from the 80s matched with drums to complement the sweet vocals of Blige, she burst onto the scene with three smash singles in the summer of 1992. Working with the likes of Cory Rooney, Dave "Jam" Hall, Mark Morales and Devante Swing, the album shot to the top of the charts. The unique sound, coupled with Blige's persona, fashion and relatability, earned Blige her first nickname: "The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul".

The album was certified triple platinum and won Blige Best New R&B Artist and Best R&B album at the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards. It was the start of a now 30 year career that has seen 14 albums all crack the Billboard 200 top 10 and also credited with making the marriage of hip-hop and R&B one of "real love"

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Show Notes

Albumism: Mary J. Blige's Debut Album "What's the 411?" Turns 30 | Anniversary Retrospective=


Music Musings & Such: Show It Some Love: Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411?" At Thirty


The Boombox: Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411?" Changed the Landscape of 1990s R&B


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