25/8 (song)

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Mary J. Blige - 25-8.jpg
Single by Mary J. Blige
from the album My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)
ReleasedSeptember 1, 2011
FormatDigital download
  • Hudson
  • Blige
Mary J. Blige singles chronology
"Someone to Love Me (Naked)"
"Mr. Wrong"
Music video
"25/8" on YouTube

"25/8" is a song by American R&B recording artist Mary J. Blige. It was written by Blige, Crystal Johnson, Al Sherrod Lambert, and Eric Hudson for her tenth studio album, My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1) (2011), while production was handled by Blige and the latter. An R&B and soul song, "25/8" is built on drum splashes and a fluttering flute, and samples from B. T. Express's rendition of "Now That We Found Love", written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Lyrically, it features the female protagonist expressing her need to have more than 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to spend time with her love interest.

"25/8" was generally well received by music critics, who noted it as one of the highlights from My Life II and complimented both Hudson's production and Blige's vocal performance. Selected as the album's first official single,[1] following the release of promotional buzz track "Someone to Love Me (Naked),"[2] it was released digitally on September 1, 2011. Commercially, "25/8" became Blige's first lead single to miss the US Billboard Hot 100, though it peaked at number 35 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and entered the top ten on Billboard's Adult R&B Songs chart. The song's accompanying music video was directed by Diane Martel.


"25/8" written by Blige, Crystal Johnson, Al Sherrod Lambert, and Eric Hudson, while production was helmed by Blige and Hudson.[3] Conceptualized by Johnson, it was created around its title when she experienced a long wait. She later elaborated: "I think I was leaving some hibachi spot and I think they had a long wait and I was like “ain’t enough hours in a day for this. I’m hungry, I need to eat now.” I kept saying 24/7, 24/7 and I was like what about, what comes after seven, oh yea eight. I literally think like that. So I’m like “25/8”... that sounds like a song. It’s a dope title but what does it mean."[4]

Release and promotion[edit]

"25/8" was released to iTunes and Amazon as a digital download on September 1, 2011.[5] Blige performed the song for the first time live on Good Morning America September 2, 2011.[6] Blige also performed "25/8" on Dancing with the Stars October 4, 2011.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

While critical reaction toward its parent album My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1) as whole was generally mixed, "25/8" was lauded by contemporary music critics. Kanya King, writing for CNN International, felt that "25/8" was "a track that meets all of the criteria of what Mary J. Blige is all about: It's soul meets hip hop with her rough vocals complementing the track. A true great among us and like a fine wine, only gets better with age."[8] Allmusic editor Andy Kellman wrote that "chest-beating pleader “25/8” clearly aims for classic status with a Gamble/Huff sample."[9] In his review for PopMatters, David Masciotra commented that the "feisty orchestral swing of "25/8" is a particular highlight," commending the "great looseness to Blige’s voice, a voice that has always sounded incredibly natural and pure and, in fact, she has never sounded better than on this record."[10]

PopCrush writer Trent Fitzgerald called "25/8" a "beautiful love anthem sounds like a strong R&B hit to our ears with its climatic violins, fluttering flutes and live drums." He compared the song to other Motown era compositions but "was remixed for our modern times."[11] The New York Times found that the unhappiness on "25/8" still "motivates her best work," declared it a "fragile, baleful, speechy [...] upbeat, hip-hop/gospel" track.[12] Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone rated the song three stars out of five, writing that "it's goopy stuff, but it's also far more neck-poppin' fun than Beyoncé's '1+1'."[13] In his review of My Life II, Consequence of Sound editor Siobhán Kane found that while songs like “25/8” "don’t work as well (in the context of her classic record My Life) [...] they do showcase her powerful vocal, which is searing."[14]

Music video[edit]

Blige filmed the video for 25/8 in late September 2011.[15] The director of the video is Diane Martel. The video premiered on October 28, 2011.[16]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Promo 7"[17]
1."25/8" (Main version) 
2."25/8" (Remix Fred the Godson) 
3."Next Level" (featuring Busta Rhymes) 
4."Feel Inside" (featuring Nas) 
5."Ain't Nobody" 
6."Ain't Nobody" (Remix) 
7."Mr. Wrong" 
8."Midnight Drive" (featuring Brook Lynn) 

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1).[18]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[19] 85
US Adult R&B Songs (Billboard)[20] 8
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[21] 35

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States September 1, 2011 Digital download[22] Matriarch, Geffen Records
September 26, 2011[23] Urban radio
September 27, 2011[23] Urban Adult radio
Australia[24] October 4, 2011 Contemporary Hit Radio Geffen Records
United Kingdom[25] November 20, 2011 Digital download Geffen Records, Polydor


  1. ^ Cragg, Michael (2011-08-30). "New music: Mary J Blige – 25/8 | Music | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  2. ^ "New Music: Mary J. Blige – '25/8'". Rap-Up.com. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  3. ^ My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1) (Standard Edition). Mary J. Blige. Geffen. 2011.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ Folk, Antwane (2013-09-09). "INTERVIEW: Crystal Nicole Talks Debut Album, Calls Mary J.Blige Her Musical Soulmate, Transition From Songwriter to Artist". RatedR&B.com. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  5. ^ "25/8: Mary J. Blige: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  6. ^ "Daily Buzz 8.31.11 | Welcome to". S2smagazine.com. 2011-08-31. Archived from the original on 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  7. ^ 10/3/2011 by TeamIGA (2011-10-03). "Mary J. Blige : News : Watch Mary J. Blige on Dancing With the Stars October 4th". Interscope.com. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  8. ^ King, Kanya (2011-12-13). "Kanya King: MOBO founder's top 5 pop picks". CNN International. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  9. ^ Kellman, Andy (November 23, 2011). "My Life II...The Journey Continues (Act 1) - Mary J. Blige". AllMusic. Review. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  10. ^ Masciotra, David (December 9, 2011). "As the Spirit Moves Mary: The Life and Art of Mary J. Blige". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  11. ^ Fitzgerald, Trent (2011-08-27). "Mary J. Blige, '25/8′ – Song Review". PopCrush. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  12. ^ Caramanica, Jon; Ratliff, Ben; Chinen, Nate (2011-11-21). "Rihanna's 'Talk That Talk' Synth-Perfect for an Earlier Time". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  13. ^ Ganz, Caryn (13 September 2011). "Song Review, "25/8"". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  14. ^ Kane, Siobhán (2011-10-15). "Mary J. Blige – My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)". Consequence of Sound . Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  15. ^ "Mary J. Blige Finds 'Mr. Wrong' on Second Single". Rap-Up.com. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  16. ^ Video on YouTube
  17. ^ "Mary J. Blige – 25/8". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  18. ^ My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1) (Media notes). Mary J. Blige. Geffen Records. 2011.CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  20. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Adult R&B Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  21. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  22. ^ "25/8: Mary J. Blige: MP3 Downloads". Amazon MP3. (Amazon.com). 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  23. ^ a b https://www.webcitation.org/6276fA2UZ?url=http://frequencynews.com/index.cfm
  24. ^ http://www.themusicnetwork.com/music-releases/singles/2011/10/05/issue--856/mary-j-blige---258/
  25. ^ "Mary J. Blige: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.co.uk. 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-10-31.

External links[edit]