Mary J. Blige’s finds out her boyfriend was not the person she thought he was in the moving “Your Child.”
Bass and and a keyboard open the single, creating a wistful and solemn tone. Blige comments on her tough decision but doesn’t divulge why. It’s as though she’s still coming to terms with the news she just heard. (“It’s too bad, it’s too bad/It’s too bad, it’s too bad, baby/But I gotta face reality/It’s too bad, it’s too bad/Too bad baby, yeah/But I gotta face reality”).
Finally, she talks about what happened earlier while he was at work. She tells him someone stopped by to see him. She gives him clues that she knows something’s going and a chance to explain. She really needs him to tell her as a last ditch effort to disprove her gut feelings. However, he chooses not to say anything which disappoints her. She says she now believes his friends over him. (“Today you had a visitor/Or should I say an old friend/But wait a minute/That’s not where it ends, no/Is there something/That you wanna tell me, hmm/Cause I’m believing what your friends say/About your hidden secrecies”).
In the chorus, she says his other girlfriend visited the house. The girlfriend was civil towards her. In her arms was Blige’s boyfriend’s child, whom her boyfriend abandoned. The information throws Blige and it immediately impacts her. She knows she can’t be with a man who refuses to be a father and leaves his girlfriend without any support whatsoever. (“Your girlfriend/She wasn’t disrespectful/In fact, she’s a hundred percent sure/And how could I argue with her/Holding a baby with eyes like yours/She said it’s your child/And it really messed me up/How could you deny/Your own flesh and blood/Gotta face reality/There can never be any more us/Won’t deny it’s hurting me/Yet so precious”).
His girlfriend she didn’t intend to cause harm or drama. However, she’s having trouble getting by and needs help. She wanted to tell Blige in person how she found out about her. (“She said she never wanted to hurt me/And could I understand, she’s afraid and lost/She said a real woman wouldn’t do this over the phone/And that you told her about me after the baby was born, oh”).
The chorus is repeated twice.
In the bridge, she tells her boyfriend the baby has a strong resemblance to him. She’s puzzled and upset that he’s not the man she loved for so long. (“Hmm, oh the baby looks just like you/How could you deny your own flesh and blood/Your own child/What kind of man are you?..”).
The chorus is again repeated twice to end the single.
The situation is handled approriately in the single. Both Blige and the girlfriend are adults. Ultimately, have the baby’s interest at heart. Blige doesn’t want to destroy a family while the girlfriend alerts her to real side of the man they’ve both been seeing. Blige does the right thing, although it pains her to do so, and ends it with the guy.
In another R&B singer’s hands, “Your Child” would’ve been packed with name-calling and yelling at the other woman. It would then be followed by loyalty to the boyfriend. R&B is really that screwed up nowadays. However, Blige takes the drama out of the situation and instead makes it an internal conflict with herself.