My Life is the second studio album by American R&B recording artist Mary J. Blige, released on November 29, 1994, by Uptown Records. Many of the topics on My Life deal with clinical depression, Blige's battling with both drugs and alcohol, as well as being in an abusive relationship. Similar to her debut album What's the 411?, My Life features vast production from Puff Daddy, who provided a hip hop soul sound.
Following the success of her debut album, What's the 411?, and a remixed version in 1993, Blige went into the recording studio in the winter of 1993 to record her second album, My Life. Producer Chucky Thompson was brought in and had originally been contracted to produce one song and an interlude for the project. He ended up being a last minute replacement as the producers Blige worked with previously on What's the 411? demanded more money when the album was certified triple platinum. Blige loved the one song Thompson produced for her, which made Combs change the direction of the album.
NME wrote that the beats "reign supreme" and commended Blige for "telling her audience she grew up the same way they did, listened to the same things, was influenced by the same situations."Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album a three-star honorable mention, indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure." Christgau cited "Mary Jane" and "I'm Going Down" as highlights and quipped, "an around-the-way girl's recipe for happiness". In a mixed review, Jonathan Bernstein of Spin found most of the songs too "ordinary" and felt that Blige's compositions "give her space to stretch out and emote, but for all the melody they possess they might as well be breathing exercises."
In its first week sales, My Life debuted at number seven on the US Billboard 200 and debuted on the top spot of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for an unprecedented eight weeks. The album sold 231,000 copies its first week. It ultimately spent 46 weeks on the Billboard 200 and 84 weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album also charted in Canada peaking at number thirty-seven, and at number fifty-nine on the UK Albums Chart. On December 13, 1995, My Life was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of three million copies in the United States.
"My Life" contains a sample "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" as performed by Roy Ayers
"Don't Go" contains a sample of "Goodbye Love" as performed by Guy; Contains re-sung lyrics from "Stay with Me" by DeBarge; "Brazilian Rhyme (Beijo)" by Earth, Wind & Fire, and contains an interpolation of "Speak to My Heart" by the New York Restoration Choir featuring Donnie McClurkin
"I Love You" samples "Ike's Mood" by Isaac Hayes and "Hollywood's World" by DJ Hollywood