Weeks after announcing a joint summer tour, Mary J. Blige and Nas teamed for a new collaborative single, “Thriving.”
With its melismatic vocal hooks, the track showcases Blige’s soulful voice throughout as she reflects on overcoming challenges. “Look what I did — I made history/They don’t know what to do with me,” she sings over a sampled guitar stab and pulsating kick drum. “Ain’t looking back — keepin’ it movin’/I know exactly how to do this.”
Nas appears halfway through with a brief verse, name-dropping Muhammad Ali and squashing negative energy. “We here for a good time, not a long time,” he proclaims. “And no bad vibe is gonna spoil mine.”
The duo debuted the song Wednesday on Ebro Darden’s Beats 1 radio show, Complex reports. In an interview, Blige hyped both the song and 22-date tour, which launches July 11th in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“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?’” the singer recalled. “It all made sense because we came out in 1994, both of us. And it’s the 25th anniversary of both of our albums.”
Blige and Nas have previously teamed up in the studio, including 1997’s “Love is All We Need” from the former’s third album, Share My World, and “Reach Out” from the rapper’s 2012 album, Life is Good.
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