It’s too bad some people miss the Mary J. Blige of old — the pained, intense, soul-stirring period of her life that yielded some of her most recognizable hits. Blige is now at peace with her demons and it’s resulting in another creative peak in her career. That period will continue with the release of her new single and video, “Not Today,” the second offering from her latest album, Love & Life.
Like a lot of the songs from Blige of late, “Not Today,” which features Eve, is sung from the perspective of a woman empowered with knowledge and in full control of her actions. This is an older, wiser Mary advising young girls not to get twisted in a man’s game, no matter how sweet he might seem.
When it’s released within the next two weeks, the track will double as the lead single from the soundtrack to “Barbershop II.” It’s only appropriate, then, that the video for the song is also set in a barbershop — and it includes cameos from the flick’s stars, Eve and Cedric the Entertainer, as well as scenes from the film itself.
Directed by Chris Robinson, the clip features a sexy Mary visiting a local social hot spot — the barbershop — and witnessing the flirtatious actions of a man who seems to be too distracted by several women to ever stick to just one. Eve and Mary watch the shenanigans amusedly.
Some highlights to look out for in the clip include Mary and Eve being transported to colorful, imaginative scenes via a View-Master toy and — especially for fans of Eve’s body — a sequence of shots that feature Eve in fetish gear.
The soundtrack to “Barbershop II” will be released in January, one month before the film.
For a feature on Mary J. Blige, check out “Mary J. Blige: Love Of My Life.”