Mary J. Blige is currently a single woman. After a tumultuous court battle, the Grammy-winning singer and her ex-husband, Kendu Isaacs, finalized their divorce in March. Details of their settlement have not been made public.
Now that her divorce is settled, Mary wants no more drama in her life. But from the beginning of her career, Mary has never been afraid to sing about relationship drama in her songs.
In all of her heartbreaking ballads, Mary always conveys a message of loving yourself before you can love someone else. In the end, if you’ve ever had any relationship drama, there's probably a Mary J. Blige song that will help you get through it.
So The Boombox decided to take a look back at some of the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s classic dramatic videos. Check them out below.
"No More Drama"No More Drama (2001)
We had to kick off the list with “No More Drama.” The downing piano chords (a sample of The Young and the Restless theme song) alone gives the song its urgency. In the video, MJB is the narrator, as we watch several people go through major life situations, including drug addiction, domestic abuse and gun violence. We can’t help but get a little emotional when a teary-eyed Mary wags her finger at the camera and proclaims, "No more drama in my life."
"I'm Goin' Down"My Life (1994)
This is an oldie but goodie. Mary’s rendition of Rose Royce’s 1976 classic heartbreak song “I’m Going Down,” is another gem in her discography. Her infamous strut while walking the down the steps is a memorable moment in this captivating black-and-white video.
"I Am" Stronger with Each Tear (2009)
This is one of Mary’s sweetest videos. Directed by Anthony Mandler, the visual finds the veteran R&B singer at yearning for her lover to come back home because no one is going to treat him better than she can. We can’t argue with that.
"Stay Down"Growing Pains (2007)
In the Hype Williams-directed video, MJB shows her vulnerability between scenes of snowcap mountains and icy waterways. The visual gives us the chills, but Mary’s soulful voice warms our hearts.
"Seven Days"Share My World (1997)
In her video for “Seven Days,” Mary J. Blige is going through a tough dilemma. After being intimate with her best friend, she ponders on whether she should pursue a relationship with him or let him go. Throughout the video, Mary is driving in a car, lying in her bed or sitting in her condo as she wrestles with her feelings about him. Her love interest is also featured in flashbacks when their relationship was purely platonic. At the end of the video, Mary finally reveals her decision.
We all know that Mary is a talented actress, but fans got a glimpse of her acting skills in her 1999 video for “Your Child." The song is about a woman who discovers that her man fathered a child with another woman outside of their relationship. In the clip, Mary plays both the girlfriend and the other woman who comes knocking on her door with child in tow claiming that her boyfriend (played by Leon of The Five Heartbeats fame) is the father. The disappointing look on Mary’s face throughout the video says it all. You can’t help but shake your head as you watch the drama unfold in the visual.
"Be Without You"The Breakthrough (2005)
Mary’s Grammy-winning single receives a fantastic video starring Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard who plays her inattentive love interest. The clip, shot mostly in black and white, features the singer and her boyfriend in happier times until they break up after a heated argument. Mary is then shown singing in front of a mirror and other various settings pleading for her man to come back to her. Stick around for the ending, it will warm your heart.
"I Don't Want to Do Anything Else"What's the 411? / Uptown MTV Unplugged (1993)
Mary and Jodeci singer K-Ci were one of the hottest couples of the ‘90s. You could see and feel their passion in their phenomenal rendition of "I Don't Want to Do Anything Else" as performed on MTV Unplugged: Uptown Records special. Mary and K-Ci’s vocal performance alone with leave you with goosebumps. Their relationship was short-lived, but the song will forever remain a classic.
"It's a Wrap"Love & Life (2003)
Now who would want to cheat on the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul? In “It’s a Wrap," Mary discovers that her boyfriend, played by hunky actor Blair Underwood, is having an affair with another woman. In one scene, Underwood is coming home drunk with lipstick on his collar. The nerve of him! The highlight of the clip comes when Mary runs up on Underwood and gives his side chick that work. In the end, both get arrested and throw in separate police cars. Stick around for the ending, it’s a nice twist to this drama-filled visual.
Mary delivers another phenomenal performance in her “Give Me You” video. In the clip, she plays a caring teacher who is helping her kindergarten students put on a play. Throughout the video, we get glimpses of her mystery man until near the end when it’s reveal that it’s none other than NBA icon Michael Jordan. It’s a touching video for a beautiful song that was penned by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Diane Warren.
"Take Me As I Am"The Breakthrough (2005)
Mary’s acting chops are on full display in her dramatic video for "Take Me As I Am." The Bille Woodruff-directed vid features multiple emotional story arcs in which MJB plays several different characters all going through some sort of drama. There’s "Waitress Mary" who is trying to help her boyfriend get back on his feet. There’s "Model Mary" who goes through a mental breakdown. There's "Editor Mary" who gets sexually harassed on the job. And finally, there's Mary's alter ego Brook Lynn playing "Date Mary" with her controlling boyfriend (played by actor Lance Gross). Things come ahead at the end when all the Marys have had enough and make a positive change for the better.
"Not Gon' Cry"Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Arguably, this is Mary J. Blige’s most iconic video of her career. Sung from the perspective of Angela Bassett’s character Bernadine, in the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale, the visual features Mary dressed in an all-black hoodie with matching sunglasses and lipstick as she’s lets the person know just how bad they f---ed up. Along with Bassett's iconic scene where she sets her ex-huband's luxury car on fire and watches it burn, this video will leave you with so many different emotions. If there is one song that sums up Mary’s ability to sing about heartbreak and pain, this is it.