An old head once told me, “A lot relationships are just like your favorite foods. Some may taste good. Some may be open whenever you want them. But a lot of them just ain’t healthy for you.” The face you’re making right now stems from the validity of the previous sentence. This piece of advice also happens to apply towards all walks of life, music included. With Bobby Brown’s presence, or lack thereof, at his ex-wife’s funeral the unfortunate talk of the entertainment world at the moment, we’re reminded of the controversy that was his time with Whitney Houston. Calling a spade a spade, the two were this generation’s most controversial union.
Their troubled and equally talented souls notwithstanding, we all know couples like this. The passion of the moment doesn’t reflect the patience needed for longevity and during the mid-1990′s, that train of thought was no more truer than in Mary J. Blige and K-Ci. In 1993, when they performed the duet “I Don’t Wanna Do Anything Else” on MTV Unplugged, their time on stage was a testament to where they both were in life. Mary, one of R&B’s fastest rising stars with a soulful voice drenched simultaneously in love and pain. And K-Ci, by far one of the signature deliveries of the decade, both church strong and street-corner sharpened.
There’s something about struggle and progress because without the other, neither would amount to much a damn. The clip below proves such. How this performance remained as authentic as it did 20 years ago is nothing short of laudable. The two students of Puffy’s industry tutelage put everything on front street for the world to hear, embrace and relate to and serve as a paramount moment in R&B history. Given the way Whitney and Bobby’s story came to a close, knowing the book of Mary and K-Ci never actually had the chance to complete writing itself, we’re probably all better off in the long run. Times of grief produce lasting music, indeed. Too bad none of it matters when it all ends with a casket at the altar.