Mary J. Blige Love & Life (Universal) Mary J. Blige is hip-hop's undisputed queen. And this fifth studio release proves her reign is stronger than ever. Love & Life is a happy reunion with Sean 'P.Diddy' Combs who produced her 1992 debut, What's The 411? Over the years, he's established himself as a fine producer and remixer, the ultimate Bad Boy armed with beats and crucial grooves. Meanwhile, Mary has trademarked her vocal ability and strength, which is all of smooth, soulful, bluesy, melodic, chilling, gritty, rough and raw. She's also the woman-from-the-block that kept things real, singing away her honest, anguished and reflective thoughts and revealing her autobiographical tales. Hence, Love & Life is a funk-charged, hip-hop-soul inspired, beat-chunked-up, passion-heavy collaboration of two greats. Expect a continuation of that Mary magic and search for self-perfection from 2001's No More Drama. And get set for a Diddy special delivery, where tunes have a fresh-yet-familiar feel, but rope you in nonetheless. Look out for the hot-to-trot guests, including 50 Cent, Eve, Dr Dre, Jay-Z and Method Man, and samples courtesy of A Tribe Called Quest, Kool & The Gang, Jackson 5 and the like. Mary lovers and Diddy haters would say this queen can hold her own throne. True, but remember, conquests are about having the right co-conspirators who've been loyal from the start.