An early morning trip to one of the premiere Tumblrs around, Up North Trips, noted Mary J. Blige’s What’s The 411 turned 20 years old last week. It was at then, at that moment, I was instantly reminded of one of the most vivid and memorable records of my young, pre-adolescent life. “You Remind Me” was one of those singles which was all but impossible to escape. It was catchy. It was radio friendly. Most importantly, it was “safe.”
A wide range of characters from my young female classmates sang it on the playground to my mother whenever the song came on the radio. Of course, me being not even 10 yet, sang right along. Now, two decades later, Mary’s first ever single still ranks as one of The Queen’s most lauded and appreciated pieces of work. Also, the album, What’s The 411, would grow to become a staple project of the 1990’s for what it helped usher in. Mary carved her own lane of Hip-Hop blended R&B mixed with an irreplaceable dose of raw, largely unmatched emotion. And the remix to her second single, “Real Love,” would be many people’s first introduction to a then little known M.C. from Brooklyn who went by the name The Notorious B.I.G.
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if “You Remind Me” rears its head at cookouts, wedding receptions or even karaoke nights. The lead single from Mary J.’s debut has a fingerprint on the pulse of pop culture impossible to smudge. It makes sense, too. Timeless records transcends everything with barriers. Generations. Gender. Environments. Everything.
Mary J. Blige – “You Remind Me”