The weekend is bursting at the seams for singer Mary J. Blige. In addition to her performance at Super Bowl 56 in Los Angeles, the Yonkers native released alongside Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar release their 15th studio album Good Morning Gorgeous.
After performing the project’s lead single, “Rent Money,” a vibey jam with Harlem rapper Dave East, on an iHeart Radio special with host Angie Martinez, she opened up about the song’s inspiration.
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 13: Mary J. Blige performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
She explained that the song was born out of her painful and very public divorce from Martin “Kendu” Isaacs.
The queen of hip-hop/soul said, “Rental money is [about] when I first got divorced.”
“I had to give up all of that alimony and I didn’t have any money to give because he spent it all,” she explained. “So I had to go, you know, I had to go on tour and make all the money back to pay the alimony.”
The multiple Oscar nominee says her finances were so stretched that she didn’t have the means to pay for accommodation.
“I didn’t have any money to pay my rent and all this other stuff,” she continued. “But it’s also a metaphor like: I didn’t have a soul. I was just drained from everything. So it was about time someone paid; Sometimes you just feel like someone has to pay.”
In 2017, Blige had to pay her ex-husband $30,000 a month in child support. Originally, his lawyers asked for the amount to be quadrupled to help him maintain his lifestyle. Issacs claimed that he “experienced physical manifestations of stress and emotional distress from this affair, which led to his being hospitalized.”
The singer’s former manager went on to claim that he was left “unemployed” and that without her financial support he would have been “penniless” and paying rent had become “impossible”.
“And I was very angry at the time when I made that song. I was very angry. And I thought: rent is due – period!’ she concluded.
She wasn’t the only person who was angry. Around the same time Mary was being asked to pay Isaac’s child support, so was her R&B soul-singing sister Toni Braxton, a socialite who was in the same shoes…designer stilettos.
The story goes on
The “Wasn’t Man Enough For Me” singer said: “Yeah. I had to pay alimony. I was one of those girls,” she said. “It’s me, it’s Britney [Spears]it is hall [Berry]Maria [J. Blige] allegedly. I was very, very angry about that. But it was because we had an existing prenup and postnup. I wanted to retire; I’m leaving to be honest.”
“Rent Money” has hit all music streaming services, and the video was released on February 11th, the same day as “Good Morning, Gorgeous”.
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