This past Wednesday Mary J Blige’s and Nas’s collaboration “Thriving” was released in conjunction with their much anticipated “Royalty Tour”. Many have coined Mary J Blige as the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul” and Nas the “King of Hip Hop”. The tour celebrates the 25th anniversary of Mary J Blige’s sophomore album My Life and Nas’s debut Illmatic. Fans will be able to witness the great chemistry between these two artists as evident of the music made together over the years.
Mary J Blige – Thriving feat. Nas
Their first collaboration was “Love Is All We Need” from Mary J Blige’s 1997 album Share My World. The track was written and produced by none other than the legendary duo of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. It was a huge hit climbing to number 2 on the R&B charts despite not being released as a physical single. Setting the tone for the album going quadruple platinum. That same year Nas and Mary J Blige along with Noreaga and Nature would appear on DJ Clue’s mixtape Clueminatti Part 2 with the track labeled as “Firm Biz (Desert Storm Remix)”. Serving the purpose as promo for Nas’s project with his super group “The Firm”.
Mary J Blige – Love Is All We Need feat. Nas (prod. by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis)
DJ Clue – Firm Biz (Desert Storm Remix) feat. Mary J Blige, Nas, Nature, Noreaga & Femme Fatale
Nas along with DMX would appear on “Sincerity” off of Mary J Blige’s 1999 album Mary. The track and the album for that matter was a reflection of Mary J Blige evolving and fitting in a space appealing to a maturing audience. It also was towards the end of Nas using the persona of “Nas Escobar” and the return to his origins. This was evident with his 2001 project Stillmatic which included Mary J Blige on “Braveheart Party” produced by Swizz Beatz.
Mary J Blige – Sincerity feat. DMX & Nas
Nas – Braveheart Party feat. Mary J Blige & The Bravehearts
Several years would pass until the two artists linked up on “Living In Pain” produced by Just Blaze from Notorious Big’s 2005 Duets: The Final Chapter. Accompanied by none other than 2Pac. Their chemistry would be on display once again on “Feel Inside” off of Mary J Blige’s 2011 album My Life II … The Journey Continues (Act 1). The track deftly sampled Wu-Tang Clan’s “Triumph”. Then one more time on “Reach Out” from Nas’s 2012 project Life Is Good.
Notorious Big – Living In Pain feat. Mary J Blige, 2Pac & Nas (prod. by Just Blaze)
Mary J Blige – Feel Inside feat. Nas
Nas – Reach Out feat. Mary J Blige
Based on their track record the royal alliance of Mary J Blige and Nas this summer will be well received by fans. With the release of the track “Thriving” it is evident that these two artists are amongst the greatest and true royalty. In this day in age where surprise projects come out of nowhere maybe this will lead to a full-fledged album between the two. Maintaining relevancy since the early 90’s and not ending anytime soon.