A salute goes out to the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. Mary J. Blige has been named to TIME100, the 100 most influential people in the world.
To salute the new inductees, TIME100 pairs new list members with guest contributors chosen to write a feature on the honoree. For Mary H. Lige, Nas was asked to create the full feature.
“Mary came up the way we all did. She was a voice for us, but she wasn’t like other R&B artists at the time,” Nas wrote. “She became a household name early because she was a hip-hop artist who also sang. The industry needed someone like that. The streets wanted that. Pop culture wanted that…… And when Mary came onstage at the Super Bowl halftime show this year, she got one of the loudest responses…She carved out a lane for herself, and now she can feed the people more than just music…. She became who she’s supposed to be.”
You can read Nas’ full feature here and see MJB’s cover below.