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The 50 Best R&B Songs That Flipped Rap Beats

48. Mary J. Blige "Changes I've Been Going Through" (1992)

Producer: Cory Rooney, Prince Markie Dee, Puff Daddy

Biz was a class clown, a court jester. Mary J was decidedly not those things. But hip-hop is a fluid genre; just a few tweaks could transform his irreverent hip-hop hit into one of R&B's most harrowing, anguished cries. In producing Mary's debut record, Puffy wanted to focus on her viscerally raw vocal style. For Mary J, it was a performance of rugged authenticity. In other words: it was more hip-hop than the R&B that came before it. What we knew about Mary's life became inseparable from (though not identical to) what we knew about her music. —David Drake

Inspiration: Biz Markie f/ T.J. Swan "Make The Music With Your Mouth" (1986)

Producer: Marley Marl

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