Mary J. Blige Updates Classic Sound with Jerry Wonda on ‘My Life II’

Mary J. Blige and Jerry Wonda

Super-producer Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis has lent his Midas touch to records for the Fugees, Whitney Houston, and Shakira. But for his next high-profile project, he’s taking it back to the beginning.

The Haitian musician has a heavy hand in Mary J. Blige’s 10th studio album My Life II: The Journey Continues, having already helmed the buzz single “Someone to Love Me (Naked)” featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne, as well as four or five other songs including the follow-up single. While recording a sequel to the 1994 classic could be daunting, the Grammy-winning producer is teeming with excitement over what they’ve already laid down.

“It’s like My Life, but with a 2011 sound to it,” he told Rap-Up.com. “Everything is all lovely with a hard bottom, but very melodic, clean music. You know Mary, she always comes with bangers. That’s why she called this one My Life II.”

Wonda, who is also working with Justin Bieber, Estelle, Melanie Fiona, John Legend, and Alicia Keys on their forthcoming LPs, originally produced the beat for “Someone to Love Me” for Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train to Paris, but passed it off to the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul after the Bad Boy mogul gave her his blessing.

“I just played the record. Mary was like, ‘Hold up! That’s my record!’ You know those two. They’re like brothers and sisters,” he said. “Puff came through Platinum Sound—that’s where I’m at—and Mary’s like, ‘I need this record.’ Puff was like, ‘Yo, that’s it! You want it, no problem mama. Let’s go!’”

MJB decided to tack on a verse from Weezy and rename the tune to suit her mood. “The reason she called it ‘Naked’ was because she was like, ‘I’m just going to let it out, whatever’s inside of me,’” continued Wonda, who worked with Swizz Beatz on a few tracks for Mary. “That’s the record, my God! Everybody’s talking about it.”

With My Life II landing in stores in September, Wonda is currently focused on his upcoming projects, with credits as executive producer on Musiq Soulchild’s MusiqInTheMagiq and producer on Akon’s forthcoming single.

–Steven J. Horowitz



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15 Comments

  1. musak

    yeaaah mary is brining the big guns for this record. Sounds like she is really going back to her roots to produce a classic album. I’m glad she is not releasing the album till sept as it gives her more time to work with different people. shes already been in the studio with swizz, maxwell, danja and alicia keys so maybe we can get a Rick Rubin/Mary collab.

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  2. its barbie bit..

    this hasbeen is still tryin put music out you and lil kim leave room for keyshia and nicki they took your spot

    [Reply]

    uknowumad Reply:

    @its barbie bit.., you sound really dumb and ignorant, go pick up a book a read

    [Reply]

    MaZ Reply:

    @its barbie bit..,

    Pay respect to the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. The one that paved the way to your Keyshia Cole!

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    HoustonGirl Reply:

    @its barbie bit.., Lil Kim and Mary J.Blige are the queens.Keyshia cole and Nicki where just filling in until they were ready to calm back out.Now that there coming back out you can say good-by to keyshia and Nicki.

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    keyshia all the way Reply:

    @HoustonGirl,rumor has it that mary j is doing a song with manji and if its true mary may lose some fans too its like everybody is on manji side THAT MEANS LIL KIM WILL STAND ALONE very sad

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  3. dluis

    @its barbie bit

    Keyshia Cole is DONE!!! The Queen of R&B has returned…
    Mary’s last album sold 332k first week, Calling All Hearts is a Flop!!

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  4. keyshia all the way

    the only reason keyshia album didnt do wel is because she put manji there most of us fans were disappointed am sure the next one will do better

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  5. dluis

    @HoustonGirl

    MJB never left!!!! The Brakthrough alone sold more than Keyshia’s whole catalog #TheEnd

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  6. QueenofHipHopSoul

    Keyshia Cole thought she was going be crowned the new QUEEN BUT SHE WAS SADLY mistaken. You can’t come in the game trying to gun for someone spot, make your own lane and people will respect you more. You see Mary hasn’t paid Keyshia Cole any attention or done any type of record with her, but she has done something with Jazmine Sullivan. Mary prolly like some of Keyshia work, but she isn’t a fan of folks trying to claim her of her crown that she has worked so hard for. Acting like she is dead and gone when she is yet alive. That’s why Lil Kim feels so disrespected. Keyshia need to focus on not trying to always write her own music, and let people assist her, because her new outlook isn’t working and trying to bandwagon Nicki Minaj made her look even stupider. So as much as you compare them two, Mary has the crown and nobody can take that away from her, still 20 years later, nobody can take it. Especially when most of those who were in the 90′s didn’t achieve half of what she has!!!!

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    HoustonGirl Reply:

    @QueenofHipHopSoul, I Agree 100%

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  7. QueenofHipHopSoul

    @keyshia all the way- And another thing, Keyshia cole has put out 3 singles which all haven’t done well expect the 3rd which gain moderate success ‘Take Me Away” but it’s dwindling down the charts because A. She hasn’t promoted it B. Video hasn’t aired yet C. We all know this record won’t sound too hot live. Just look at the Conan show. Not knocking the record, it’s cute for what it is, but Keyshia has fallen off, BIGTIME!!!

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  8. Diego

    Mary J Blige is back bitches I see why the haters mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  9. HHH7387

    I’m starting to think that websites should discontinue their comments section, cause every last one of them feature stans arguing non stop.

    And people wonder why music is in the bad shape that it’s in….

    [Reply]

  10. ...

    I’m apprehensive about this record. Not huge on the single and I will be pretty upset if Mary comes out with something too glossy or overproduced. I don’t listen to Mary for glitzy dance cuts, although I thought “The One” was fierce; I listen to Mary for soul, for grit, for happiness, for pain. Please please please…don’t sell out.

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