After tinkering with — but ultimately scrapping — an idea to call her new album Love Message, Mary J. Blige and P. Diddy have decided to title her sixth studio LP Love and Life, which will be released sometime this summer.
Diddy, who executive-produced and helmed most of the beats for Mary's first two classic LPs, What's the 411? and My Life, is handling the same duties for her latest album. Dr. Dre has thrown in a couple of tracks as well.
"We went back to the formula we did on the first two records," Diddy said of the new project. "It's incredible hip-hop soul. She's the queen of it, I'm the king of it, [and] we made it up together — beautiful sultry vocals on hard hip-hop beats. I was the first to do that in '90. A lot of people have been able to do that and be successful, [and] all that's good, [but] now you have the originators getting back together and really putting it [down].
"There's this joint called 'Don't Go' that's incredible [and] we both love it," Diddy added, talking about what can be expected on the LP. "She has a joint with 50 Cent [and] a joint called 'Love at First Sight' with Method Man. She has so many fire joints."
M.J.B. and P.D. are still in the lab finishing production, but they recently released a new song to radio and the Internet called "Hooked."
"Boy you know you got your hooks in me," Blige sings over the beat from 50 Cent's "In Da Club" about a guy that she met — where else? — in a club. "You're on my mind everyday constantly/ I'm tired of holding back the way I feel," she croons. Diddy later adlibs, disclosing that the song only represents phase one of the project.
Presumably, phase two involves an actual first single. According to Mary's spokesperson, "Hooked" is just a promotional cut and won't appear on Love and Life. An official first single will be chosen when the album is closer to the end of production.