Following the news of their joint tour this summer, Mary J Blige and Nas debuted their new track, ‘Thriving’, which premiered on Ebro Darden’s Beats 1 radio show.
The queen of hip-hop soul and “no more drama” empowering anthems is back, with a knocking new single in a throwback to early 2000s hip-hop beats.
“I’m on a mission, no baggage weighing me down/ get out my feelings, cause I’m tired of seeing me drown,” sings Blige over the DJ Envy beat, as the chorus kicks in with “we’re not just surviving, yeah we’re thriving over here”.
Before premiering the track, Blige hinted at the song title, sharing a quote from the late great poet, Maya Angelou on Instagram writing, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to THRIVE, and do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style,” it reads.
Nas, who features on the track, echoes Blige’s sentiment, reminding everyone to “Love your life, put your crown up straight”.
Speaking to Darden, Blige introduced the track and talked about how her and Nas ended up deciding to tour together.
“I was hanging out with [Nas] and Puff around New Year’s Eve, and the next day, I think maybe two days later, I got a text from him saying, ‘Do you want to go on the road together?’” Blige said. “It all made sense because we came out in 1994, both of us. And it’s the 25th anniversary of both of our albums.”
The duo announced their co-headlining tour ‘The Royalty Tour’ last month, with dates kicking off in July. ‘Thriving’ is just one of the many musical collaborations between the Queens natives, including their rendition of ‘Rise Up Shepherd and Follow’ off The Black Nativity soundtrack in 2013, ‘Reach Out’ from Nas’ Life Is Good album in 2012, and most famously, the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-produced track, ‘Love Is All We Need’ off Blige’s third studio album, Share My World back in 1997.
Many fans have also speculated that the track is part of a forthcoming new record from Blige, following 2017’s Strength Of A Woman.
Listen to ‘Thriving’ on Apple Music here.