March 18, 2002 12:00 PM

If there were a book about Mary J. Blige’s early days, it would have been called Waiting to Explode. “I was the problem,” she says. “I learned that if I don’t get so emotional…things won’t explode into some kind of situation.”

These days the R&B-pop star is taking it a bit easier, as reflected by the title of her latest platinum album, No More Drama. Blige, 31, confesses that she still has her moments. She sings candidly about them in the gritty tune “PMS.” “A lot of guys love that song, shockingly,” she says. “Because I explain to them what we’re dealing with. You don’t want nobody to touch you. I get it so bad, so I had to speak on it.”

She also doesn’t mind speaking up about her new fiancé. Over Christmas she became engaged to Martin Isaacs, former musical director for Queen Latifah and her guy for two years. “He was not intimidated, and he still is not,” says Blige, who is on tour through next month. “I know I’m not in trouble. He doesn’t worship money.”

But don’t expect her music to turn mushy. “There’s too much going on in the world for me to have a romantic album. I cannot be selfish to the women who I’ve catered to for so long by saying, ‘Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, I got a boyfriend,'” says Blige, who also hasn’t forgotten growing up in the projects of Yonkers, N.Y. “I’m not better than anyone. I’m the chick at the bus stop still.”

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