As an entertainer in any field, friendships are hard to come by. Real friends that look out for your best interest, give advice, keep secrets, and is there when you need them are hard to find as an average person. So as an entertainer I can’t fathom the number of people who present themselves to entertainers as a “friend” when they are really there to abuse, rob, belittle, and manipulate. Even people who are in the industry themselves aren’t there to be friends with the talent, they are there to look out for their best interest or the best interest of the agency they work for. That’s why you’ll hear emcees like N.O.R.E. and Styles P say they have friends and industry friends. They understand the difference and sometimes fans don’t understand that dichotomy.
The Queen of Hip Hop/Soul, Mary J. Blige, received her Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 BET Awards. So of course her friends were present and accounted for, Sean “Diddy” Combs and the Queen of Rap, Kimberly “Lil Kim” Jones were there to celebrate their friend and her accomplishments. Lil Kim and Mary have a friendship older than some of you readers. You can see how real their friendship is whenever they are on screen or camera together. When Lil Kim came out on that stage to perform her verse on Mary’s “I Can Love You”, I jumped out of my seat! If you weren’t up on game when that song came out, you’ll never understand how much this song resonated with Black women. Mary’s music is the soundtrack to the life of a Black woman but “I Can love You” hit different. I am just glad that these two women have a friendship that lasted through all the death, drug abuse, money troubles, court cases, and hearsay the industry offered up to both women.
They are icons and everyone that comes after them is paying homage whether they know it or not, even if they don’t admit it. Don’t let these new entertainers fool you because they pale in comparison to Mary J. and Ms. Jones. That is why they’re friends. So they can sit up on their thrones and laugh at the “new wave” trying to redo their old looks from the nineties. Respect is reciprocated in any good relationship and Mary J. Blige deserves all of her flowers and she should spend the rest of her lie smelling them. No matter what the internet may say about these two women and regardless of what you may have heard their friendship never waned. None of these new rappers will ever have anything solid unless they befriend themselves first.
“To be honest, dawg, I ain’t feelin’ your energy.” – Kanye West (Real Friends)