Mary J. Blige says she went on tour to pay alimony to ex Kendu Isaacs

Blige told radio host Angie Martinez that her new single, 'Rent Money,' is inspired by her own experience with divorce

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In a recent interview, Mary J. Blige opened up about the origins of her new song, “Rent Money,” which she explains was about how she had to go on tour to help support her very public divorce from Kendu Isaacs.

The release of Blige’s new album Good Morning Gorgeous and her Super Bowl LVI performance alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Eminem has marked an exciting new chapter for The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. On her new album, the third single “Rent Money” featuring Dave East, is inspired by a very specific time in her life, she told Angie Martinez on an iHeart Radio special this week.

Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show
Mary J. Blige performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

In the song, Blige sings lyrics, “Look now my rent money due / I spent everything f—‘ with you, oh / They say you win some, you win some you lose / All I got is rent money due / f—‘ with you.”

In her sit-down with Martinez, she explained, “‘Rent Money” is [about] when I first got divorced. I had to give up all this alimony, and I didn’t have no more money to give because he had spent it all. So, I had to go, you know, I had to go on tour, and make all the money back to pay the alimony.”

She continued, “I didn’t have no money to pay my rent and all this other stuff. But it’s also a metaphor like, I didn’t have my soul. I was just drained of everything. So it was time for somebody to pay; sometimes you just feel like somebody gotta pay.”

Blige was paying her ex Martin “Kendu” Isaacs $30,000 per month in temporary spousal support between 2016 when she first filed to when they settled in 2018, theGrio reported. The former couple settled out of court in March of 2018, avoiding a potential week-long trial.

Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Press Conference
Mary J. Blige at the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Press Conference on Feb. 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

In a recent cover story for Elle, Blige opened up about how she started building her self-confidence while she was still married and that it inspired the title track of her new album.

She explained, “During Mudbound and when I was married, I was feeling so low. I had to pay myself the highest compliments, even if I didn’t believe it, just so I could build myself up…I would do it in the morning, because that’s the time when your hair is not done and you don’t have on makeup. You’re just kind of dealing with yourself for real.”

Good Morning Gorgeous is available to stream now.

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