After the release of her multi-platinum debut album What’s the 411? in 1992, Mary J. Blige emerged as one of the breakthrough artists in R&B. But it was My Life that led her to be called the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. The 1994 album would spawn six singles, including the hits “Be Happy,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” “Mary Jane (All Night Long),” “You Bring Me Joy,” “I Love You,” and “My Life.” Behind the boards during its recording were an impressive cast of producers: Sean “Puffy” Combs, Carl “Chucky” Thompson, and Prince Charles Alexander. They played a critical role in elevating and refining the core of Blige’s overall sound. Their unique skills and technical precision helped recapture the essence of ’70s soul and seamlessly blend it with modern hip hop. In so doing, they provided the sonic foundation for contemporary R&B throughout the remainder of the decade. To celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary, we spoke with Thompson and Alexander about the creation of My Life.