Throwback Thursday: Mary J. Blige – “Share My World”
Another week, another deep album cut. For the culture. And for the quarantine too.
In 1997, Mary J. Blige released her third LP and best work by far: Share My World.
It is PEAK contemporary R&B that is so ’97 and yet so timeless. Mary was at the height of her powers, and so were the producers on the albums, including Babyface and a then-20-year-old Rodney “Dakrchild” Jenkins.
Darkchild would become a household name by the following year, when he produced much of Brandy’s sophomore album and an array of hits for many big stars. But in 1997, he was still relatively unknown even though he had a few minor hits under hit belt — including “The Things You Do.”
When many think of Share My World, “I Can Love You” (featuring Lil’ Kim) — another Darkchild production — is usually one of the first two tracks mentioned. And while I do love that song, I think the album’s title track is just as good, and picking “I Can Love You” would’ve been too easy. However, watch this space, because “I Can Love You” will get its day.
Like the album as a whole, “Share My World” is particularly representative of that time in R&B and yet possesses a certain timelessness that makes it just as enjoyable almost 23 years later — and not just in a nostalgic kinda way.
Co-written by Mary and Darkchild, “Share My World” is a reminder that MJB has a decent pen game to go with that amazing voice. And as we all stay in our respective cocoons during the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like a comically appropriate pick — because sharing our worlds is literally not allowed right now. Click play.