Every Track Ranked – Billboard

Few debut albums in R&B history heralded the arrival of street royalty like that of Mary J. Blige. What is 411? When MJB emerged straight from the projects in Yonkers, New York with her insta-classic debut 30 years ago on July 28, 1992, she immediately crowned her queen of hip-hop soul – to the title that had given her was awarded by his mentor. and producer Sean “Puffy” Combs. And that might have seemed like premature promotional hype had the 21-year-old Blige not completely lived up to the hype.

While her tracking, 1994 My lifewould become his masterpiece, What is 411? defined the hip-hop soul movement that would rule much of the ’90s. His debut album peaked at number six on the Billboard 200, selling 3.5 million copies to date, per Luminate. The album placed five songs on the Billboard Hot 100, with “Real Love” breaking into the top 10 at No. 7; “Sweet Thing” and “You Remind Me” were Top 40 hits, peaking at number 28 and 29 respectively. Meanwhile, on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, “You Remind Me” and “Real Love” became No. 1s, his first two of six (so far) on that count. “Love No Limit” and “Reminisce” were the top 10 R&B//Hip-Hop songs, peaking at number 5 and 6, respectively.

At the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, Mary J. Blige received the Icon Award, presented to her by Janet Jackson, who said, “Mary J. Blige represents truth. During her speech at the BBMAs, Blige recalled her coming: “I was fabulous in the ghetto, and I still am. And people were threatened by that. And now everyone wants to look fabulous in the ghetto.

Here we rank the 12 tracks from an iconic album that birthed a queen.

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