Has Christmas come early? It sure seems like it, this week ESSENCE Music Festival headliner Mary J. Blige announced that her tenth album "My Life II: The Journey Continues" hits shelves on September 20. The LP will act as a follow-up to her 1994 classic "My Life" and the Queen of R&B Soul has already released the video for the first single "Someone To Love Me (Remix)" featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne. In celebration, we figured this is the perfect time for an MJB playlist, with a hip-hop twist. So we've gathered a few of Mary's cuts featuring some of our favorite MCs, or Mary herself on the mic. Are you ready, ladies?
ESSENCE Music Festival Mary J. Blige Hip-Hop Playlist
Be With You (Remx)
Mary J. Blige's "Be With You (Remix)" featuring Lauryn Hill: This was a quiet remix that occurred early in Lauryn's Fugee's phase. While the divas didn't trade too many notes, it did prepare us for "Used To Love Him" from Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
Mary J. Blige's "Real Love" featuring Notorious B.I.G.: This is a classic that needs no introduction, especially if you're ever been to a club before the party really gets started. This "Real Love (Remix)" is a nice warm-up.
I'll It Do For You
Father MC's "I'lll Do For You" featuring MJB: We love tracks that feature today's stars just as they ere getting their start and Mary goes in as Father MC's featured background singer.
Wyclef Jean '911" featuring Mary J. Blige: The guitars on "911" just do something to our soul, it's a bit heart-wrenching, right?
Busta's "Touch It" featuring MJB, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Rah Digga and DMX: When "Touch It" was announced as a remix featuring Mary, we expected her to be singing the hook. Instead, she spit her own bars and her blowout is to die.
Drake's "Fancy" featuring MJB: Rumor says the Drake's hit "Fancy" began as something Swizz Beatz produced for Mary. But alls well that ends well, since the Queen still contributed to the finished product.
Can't Knock the Hustle
Jay-Z's "Can't Knock The Hustle" featuring MJB: A friend told us that Mary is such a down-to-earth person that then fledgling MC Jay-Z paid her in cash, held together in a paper bag, for her chorus on "Can't Knock The Hustle." If that isn't the embodiment of the song's title, we don't know what is.
I Can Love You
Mary J. Blige's "I Can Love You" featuring Lil' Kim: Long time friends, it's always magic when these two get together.
What's the 411
Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411"featuring Grand Puba: This song was Mary's sign-off on her debut 1992 album of the same name. Can any other R&B diva trade bars with MJB and compare? We think not.
Love @ 1st Sight
Mary J. Blige's "Love @ 1st Sight" featuring Method Man: "Love @ 1st Sight" signaled a return to Mary's past when she reunited with Puffy, er, Diddy for her 2003 album "Love & Life." Her first single even featured Method Man, which served as a nice little refresher for "I'll Be There For You/ You're All I Need To Get By."
Someone To Love Me (Remix)
Mary J. Blige's "Someone To Love Me (Remix)" featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne: The first single from MJB's new project is undeniably catchy and her fur is fierce. We approve.