Mary J. Blige meets Kanye West on “Love Yourself,” their much-anticipated collaboration off Blige’s upcoming album Strength of a Woman. Over soulful horns, the newly-single songstress shares an important lesson on self-love.
“You gotta love yourself if you really wanna be with someone else,” sings MJB. “You gotta feed yourself before you feed somebody else / You gotta stay open and don’t be foolish / ‘Cause everybody don’t mean you well.”
All fired up, Kanye comes through with a powerful verse. “I decided not to use my color as a handicap / He a designer, artist, producer, and he rap,” he spits. “Came from the Chi and wow, look what the fuck they found / A young legend comin’ to shut the summer down.”
During her interview with Angie Martinez on Power 105.1, Blige opened up about the collaboration. “‘Love Yourself’ is hardcore hip-hop soul,” she said. “It’s me talking to myself when I was in it. ‘Don’t give up. Love yourself.’ When you hear the words, you’ll hear it…I’m a fan of Kanye. I’ve always loved Kanye. 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.'”
She also spoke about her tumultuous divorce from her husband of 12 years, Kendu Isaacs. “I’m still in it,” she said. “It’s just getting worse. It really is not getting better. It’s just more bullshit, more nonsense, more lies, more denial, more stupidity.”
Due April 28, Strength of a Woman features additional appearances from Kaytranada (“Telling the Truth”), Prince Charlez (“Smile”), and Missy Elliott, DJ Khaled, and Quavo (“Glow Up”).