Monday, January 7, 2008
Just Like You..or is it..Just Like You?
The girl next door (from the crack house, that is) image was originally introduced over a decade ago by Mary J. Blige, that image is of someone that's relatable, riddled with hardships, tackling real relationship issues and possessing a humble singing voice that could pretty much be mimicked without embarrassment or strain by anyone with hearing and vocal chords. This image was a drastic change of what was known at the time, there was the cookie cutter non-offensive crossover types (Whitney before the crack and Mariah before the mini skirts and black men) and that was pretty much it untill Mary burst on the scene with a bad attitude, a bad weave and a personality hell bent on keepin it real with the women that didnt always have a "vision of love".
Over the years the image has been polished, marketed and pushed on many other female acts that have come and gone, but theres only been 1 female with as many similarities, musically and physically or been met with a fraction of the success as Mary experienced back in '92, Miss Keyshia Cole. While the similarities and parallels of these 2 women are clear and evident, to say that a predecessor is copying or following in the footsteps of its successor is not only inaccurate in this case but flat out *chaka kahn voice* DISRESPECTFUL!
Various blogs have expressed the obvious about the new issue of VIBE that features Mary J. Blige as the cover girl, She resembles Keyshia Cole...or is it...Keyshia Cole resembles Mary? true they both favor at times depending on what section of the wigporium they frequent, but to say that Mary is "swagger jacking" is where my fist turn coal to diamonds, especially when shes supposedly jacking a swagger that was introduced by her when Keyshia was just a twinkle in her fathers eye, WHOMEVER that may be (But I love u none the less Frankie, HOLLAAAAA!). After 40 million records sold, 26 Grammy nominations (6 wins), world wide acclaim and unprecedented respect among peers across the board AND fans alike, why Mary would swagger jack from an artist that has yet to even experience HALF of that is beyond me, but yanno, I think before I say things, so who am I?
Not to take away the accomplishments from Keyshia at all to prove my point, shes had 2 platinum albums, 3 top 10 singles and so far 2 Grammy nominations, miss thing is definitely coming into her own, or atleast her own twist of what worked for Mary over 10 years before Keyshias debut album The Way It Is even dropped back in 2005. The IMAGE, the sound, and the attitude that worked, at times backfired, or at the very least made u give a damn about what Mary had to say is now being used by Keyshia to make a name for herself.
Am I takin a shit on Keyshia? ofcourse not..I dabble with keylolo on occasion and ive enjoyed various songs shes released since her debut, the girl has a promising career and i look forword to witnessing her growth as a woman and an artist, but am I aware of where shes drawing her inspiration from and whos shes HEAVILY influenced by in every aspect of her career? absolutely. Mary J. Blige is called the Queen of HipHop soul for a reason and after selling over 600,000 albums in one week during a time where going gold is an aspiration, shes showing no signs of passing on the crown anytime soon, or trading it for anyones princess tiara for that matter.