It was the raw and relatable emotion, the ‘tough, but vulnerable’ persona and quite notably, the hip-hop influenced blues that gave us reason to believe Keyshia Cole was Mary J. Blige’s musical predecessor, back when she debuted in 2004 with “I Changed My Mind”.
Blige, the well-earned Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul, was never really fond of the comparison and often allowed us to believe the rumors of “beef” were true. Readying her fifth studio LP, Woman To Woman, Cole tells Singersroom that she wished she’d had a woman to woman with Blige.
“To those who come after me [...], I am here to lend a helping hand. Even if it’s not me saying, ‘Hey I’m gonna record with you’ or ‘Let’s go hang out’–we don’t have to be friends at the end of the day. Being able to give advice or to help somebody that’s coming under you is an amazing gift to be able to have. I wish I would’ve had that from Mary. but I’m not Mary..I’m a different person and if K. Michelle (or anybody for that matter) ever called me for advice I would absolutely give it to ‘em”
Keysh sounds a bit hurt, but who wouldn’t be in that case? Surely, Keyshia grew up rocking to plenty of Mary records–subsequently, pouring the same measure of pain into her own catalog.