Soul queen Mary J Blige has courted rap controversy by declaring US east coast hip-hop is the best.

The FAMILY AFFAIR singer, who was raised in Brooklyn, New York City, prefers to shun west coast rappers on her albums, and has collaborated with a host of eastside stars including Jay-Z, SEAN 'DIDDY' COMBS, Eve, Ja Rule, 50 CENT and Method Man.

And on her latest hit album The Breakthrough, Blige features a rapper named BROOK, which is actually her rapper alter-ego.

She explains, "All of the greatest rappers come from the east coast, come from BK, come from Brooklyn. To me anyway, the majority of them do.

"I know you got Krs-One and them that come from the Bronx, but that also fits in with the B. I created the name Brook based on those ideas."