A Classic Revisited: “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By”
My teenage self wanted somebody to have a “Love Jones for my body and my skin tone so bad!” “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” is the quintessential hood love story. Method Man and Mary J Blige are the perfect combination. It’s a love song, but the beat is grimey and gutter. I actually believe that’s a big part of it’s appeal. Whoever linked those two up knew what they were doing. What dude you know don’t F with Method Man?! And by the time this song dropped Mary had all the ladies in her corner after dropping “What’s the 411?” and “My Life”. It was predestined for them to get together.
When Mary comes in with with the “Like sweet morning dew… I took one look at you and it was plain to see,” you gotta hit that “You were my Deeeestiny” part, hard. Her voice on this song is haunting, but not in a scary way, in the best way possible. When I hear her sing, “You’re all I need, to get by-byyyy…” I automatically envision her sitting on the rooftop with her hat pulled low, head nodding, and vibing. That’s a moment in itself.
This song gave Method Man another layer. He was already well known because of Wu-Tang Clan, but him professing his love for his “Shorty” brought him a whole new audience. “Nothing make a man feel better than a woman, queen with a crown that be down for whatever.” Pretty sure those weren’t the type of lyrics he was spittin’ on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). He was still a whole entire gangsta, but now he was a gangsta that had love too.
“I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” also gave my parents another chance to say “You know that’s an old song right??” They took so much joy in that, but I get it now because when I hear samples in songs today I say the same thing to my niece. For those that don’t know, this song samples/pays homage to another classic by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released in 1968. Quality music, again, always stands the test of time.
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