Mary J. Blige has blessed us all with the release of her new single ‘Love Yourself’ which features Kanye West. The track has been released ahead of upcoming album Strength of a Woman, which is set to be released on the 28th April.
It’s a collaboration that seems almost too good to be true: “I’m a fan of Kanye,” Blige states. “I’ve always wanted to work with Kanye. I reached out to his manager, got a number on him, began to text him back and forth about how I really wanted him on ‘Love Yourself.’” You can listen to the single here.
The message of empowering yourself through self-love is evident throughout the entirety of the track, which is reinforced with Kanye West’s verse. He brings to light the battles that black musicians face within the music industry: ‘“I decided not to use my color as a handicap,” he raps. It seems that Mary J. Blige and Kanye West want to prevent people, particularly the marginalised in society, from feeling discouraged in their ability, which is particularly relevant considering the inauguration of Donald Trump a few months ago.
The track starts with a light piano which slowly descends into a chorus of horns and a heavy beat. Blige’s lyrics on top of the arrangement of horns is what makes this song embrace such an upbeat tone, as she constantly repeats ‘you gotta love yourself’. These lyrics are especially refreshing in today’s music industry as they contrast the theme of romantic love which is so often is the topic of chart songs. Instead, Blige wants to convey the idea that being happy isn’t about being accepted by others, it’s about accepting yourself first.
With a first single release like this— you can be certain that Blige’s next album is certainly not going to disappoint.