mary j. blige's new album will feature kanye west and missy elliott

Mary is gearing up to drop her 13th studio album 'Strength of a Woman.'

by Hannah Ongley
30 March 2017, 4:52pm

The reigning Queen of Hip-Hop Soul didn't rise to the top on other people's coattails. Mary J. Blige's intense, intuitive approach to collaborations, though, has largely shaped the trajectory of her illustrious career. Case in point: the idea for her last album, 2014's London Sessions, was born after she stumbled across electronic duo Disclosure on Vevo. "I was amazed that these two young British kids had created something that sounded like the music from the 80s that we listened to as children," Mary told i-D of the large number of phone calls she put in before finally pinning the pair down to record a remix of their track "F For You." "When I heard [Disclosure's breakthrough hit] 'Latch,' it made me feel so nostalgic. I just had to sing a song like that."

Mary is gearing up to drop her 13th studio album next month, and it's going to feature some equally exciting partnerships. In a string of tweets last night, the Yonkers-born legend detailed the track list for Strength of a Woman, which mentions Kanye West, Kaytranada, and Mary's IRL BFF Missy Elliott. Missy appears on a song called "Glow Up" alongside Quavo and DJ Khaled. The album also includes the previously released single "Thick of It," a sonic throwback to the 411 era written with fellow Missy collaborator Jazmine Sullivan. "[Strength of a Woman] was written from the perspective of a woman who's had to save herself constantly," Mary explained to us in January of recording the new album in the midst of a difficult divorce. "Self-love is really important; it breeds confidence, it makes you feel better about life." We can't think of a more fitting theme for our times.


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Olivia Rose

mary j blige
Missy Elliot
Strength of a Woman