Words & Photos by Joe Russo

Mary J. Blige and Nas joined forces for the Royalty Tour, which stopped at Barclays Center this week.

Grammy Award nominee and nine-time winner Mary J. Blige and 13-time Grammy nominee NAS took to the stage together to perform the collaborative track “Thriving”. The song is essentially a celebration of how far they’ve come since releasing their first albums in 1994. The duo also sang “Reach Out” together before splitting up to each do a full set of their own material.

Old fans and new sang along to some of Mary’s most recognized songs like “Real Love,” “No More Drama,” “I Can Love You Better,” “You Remind Me,” “Reminisce”, “Not Gon’ Cry”, “Love Is All We Need” and “I’m Going Down” from her extensive catalog of hits. Right in the middle of her set, she did a 12 song medley which included the likes of “All Night Long”, “I’m The Only Woman”, “Be Happy”, “You Bring Me Joy”, “I Love You”, “You Gotta Believe”, “Mary’s Joint”, and “My Life,”. She closed her set with “Family Affair”.

Nas’ set was equally impressive with countless hits spanning the years like “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” “Halftime,” “N.Y. State of Mind”, “Life’s a Bitch”, “The World Is Yours”, “One Love”, “Hate Me Now”, “I Can”, “Nastradamus”, “Got Ur Self a Gun,” “Hot Boyz” (Remix), “Oochie Wallie,” “You Owe Me,” “Accident Murderers,” “The Message,” “Street Dreams,” “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That),” “Made You Look,” and closed his set with “One Mic.”

The co-headlining summer tour continues through September.

Joe Russo reporting from Brooklyn…

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