March 27th is a major Mariah Carey milestone, dahlings. That’s right, Mimi turns 50. And while Mariah herself may not celebrate birthdays (preferring instead to call them “anniversaries”) we DO celebrate birthdays and as card-carrying members of the Lambily, we’re using hers as an occasion to highlight ten reasons we simply do not deserve this deliciously decadent and divine diva.
She co-opted Christmas
Jesus may be the reason for the season, but Mariah Carey comes pretty close to being the holy and historical figure for whom we deck the halls. When the songstress released “All I Want For Christmas Is You” onto an unsuspecting (and frankly, undeserving) universe in 1994, we truly had no idea how much this new Christmas classic would come to define not only the holiday, but the entire month of December for every single year to come. In fact, in 2019, 25 years AFTER its original release, the seasonal song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
We may get literally dragged to actual hell for saying this but, move over JC, Christmas is about MC. Sorry to this man.
She married pop and hip hop
Mariah Carey simply does not get enough credit for blending the genres of pop and hip hop. It was way back in 1995 when Mariah tapped rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan to appear on the remix of her hit “Fantasy” off her fifth album, “Daydream” and the unlikely collab between a balladeering pop princess and a gritty East Coast rapper become an instant classic that still slaps today, 25 years after its release. If you say the phrase “Me and Mariah” and your friends don’t immediately respond with, “go back like babies with pacifiers” you need to find new friends. You do not need these people in your life, they will bring you down and ultimately lead to your untimely demise. But Mariah wasn’t done after her duet with ODB, in 1999 she enlisted the help of one Shawn Corey Carter (aka Jay-Z) to appear on her song “Heartbreaker” off her album, “Rainbow” and boom, another banger. And she wasn’t finished blessing us, lambs. Mimi also dropped a “Heartbreaker” remix which not only flipped the script into a feminist anthem featuring Da Brat and Missy Elliott but also sampled Snoop Dogg’s 1993 track “Ain’t No Fun” The remix was even better than the original. Over the course of her career Mariah has collaborated with other rappers like Ma$e, Diddy, Busta Rhymes, and Cam’ron but she’s never truly received the appropriate amount of respect for being the pioneer of a genre the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes once called “hip pop.” Just look at the acclaim and recognition that continue to be heaped upon Run DMC and Aerosmith for blending rap and rock on 1986’s “Walk This Way” collaboration. And while yes, that was indeed an historic moment, did the Grammys really need to roll their old bones on stage in this, the year of our Lord, 2020? In 2030 we best be seeing a tribute to all of Mariah Carey’s ground-breaking hip hop collaborations on that stage or we will take to the streets.
The shade of it all
Allow us to set the scene: it’s the early 2000s, a simpler time, one might say. We’ve survived Y2K and Juicy Couture velour track suits and Von Dutch trucker hats are the required uniform. Celebrities still roam free, blissfully unaware they only have a short period of peace left before Ashton Kutcher will be jumping out of bushes and pranking them. Mariah Carey is more than a dozen years into career that has spawned countless hits. Now, enter Jennifer Lopez, former Fly Girl, current actress whose received acclaim for her work in “Selena” and singer, having released her debut album, “On the 6” in 1999 (Mariah’s foray into acting, meanwhile, 2001’s “Glitter” is about to derail her both professionally and personally) Jennifer Lopez has caught the eye of Sony record exec Tommy Mottola who just happens to be Mariah Carey’s ex-husband. Mimi, now fully emancipated from Mottola, has laid down a track with rapper Ja Rule which is to appear on the “Glitter” soundtrack. No surprise here, as we outlined above, Mariah is well-known for blending pop and hop hop. But here’s where shit gets downright nefarious: according to legend, Tommy Mottola, who, by the way, never approved of Mariah’s rap collaborations and tried to dissuade her from them, catches wind of the incoming Mariah/Ja Rule track and rushes Ja into a studio with Jennifer to remix “I’m Real” a song on her second album, “J.Lo.” The song is an instant hit. Jennifer then goes on to remix her songs “Ain’t It Funny” and “I’m Gonna Be Alright” with Ja Rule and Nas respectively, all of which would appear on her 2002 remix album, “J To The LO!” As you can imagine this does NOT go over well with Mariah who has shelved her own Ja Rule collabo. Its around this time when a German reporter dares to ask Mimi what she thinks of Jennifer Lopez and with four little words, Mariah unleashes a truly unholy amount of shade that it’s a miracle the sun ever rose another day and that we’re not living in a world of perpetual darkness. “I don’t know her” Mariah famously responds with a sly smile and a coquettish nod of her head that belies the true savagery behind the sentiment (but one those of us trained in the art of brutal bitchery immediately recognize as an attempted murder) “I don’t know her” immediately solidified itself as the ultimate way to casually dismiss your nemesis. Mariah Carey’s “I don’t know her” walked so Keke Palmer’s 2019 “sorry to this man” could run. A legendary cultural contribution for which we are forever indebted.
She has two moods
Festive or Bleak. Those are Mariah’s moods. There is no in between. Seriously, Google how many times she refers to things as either festive or bleak. In Mariah’s world, things only fall into these two categories. Things Mariah has described as bleak: her time on American Idol, whatever diet she is currently on, her time waitressing, an ex’s new girlfriend, that one time she was in Paris and it was cold. Things she has referred to as festive: herself, her mom, Santa, her Christmas songs, the recording booth in her house, her perfume line, the colour of a pair of earrings in her jewelry line. Iconic.
She called her kids #DemBabies
On April 30th, 2011, after a pregnancy Mariah described as, you guessed it, “bleak,” the songstress gave birth to twins Moroccan and Monroe who she and then-husband Nick Cannon proceeded to refer to as “Dem Babies” so much so she even registered a (now defunct) website for Dem Babies. The twins are now approaching their ninth birthday but are still often referred to as Dem Babies.
THAT New Year’s Eve performance
2016 was a garbage year: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher all died, and Donald Trump was elected US President (although, compared to 2020, 2016 is looking downright quaint in comparison now, isn’t it?) So, by December of 2016, many of us were eager to bid the year a not-so-fond farewell. That’s when, with mere minutes to spare until the official beginning of 2017, Mariah Carey, ever our benevolent angel, ascended to the stage in New York’s Times Square as part of the “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” to perform and, unbeknownst to us, give us a gift that would take us into 2017 on a fluffy cloud of schadenfreudian delight. After performing the New Year’s Eve standard, “Auld Lang Syne,” Mimi went into her 1991 hit, “Emotions” and that’s when the trouble began. Mimi was clearly having trouble with her earpiece and stopped singing altogether (while her backing track, like Celine Dion’s heart, went on) In a performance the media would later refer to as “an epic fail” “disastrous” and “a debacle” Mariah then spoke over the backing track, saying things like “we’re missing some of the vocals but it is what it is” and reminding us that the song once went to number one before giving up entirely saying, “I’m gonna let the audience sing, okay?” Later that night she posted a gif to Twitter with the caption, “shit happens” and then accused producers of sabotaging her, tweeting, “they foiled me … it turned into an opportunity to humiliate me” (an accusation Dick Clark Productions vehemently denied) Some may say Mariah was merely woefully unprepared for the performance, but we like to think she sensed we needed the joy with which her much-talked about performance would provide us, and sacrificed herself on live television in front of millions. A true sacrificial lamb. Mariah returned the following New Year’s Eve to redeem herself with a performance that went off without a hitch.
She battled Eminem
Beefs and battles are common in hip hop but when Eminem, whose made an entire career rapping about killing women, came for Mariah, Slim Shady should have known our shady queen would be the one to murder him. The drama all started in the early aughts when Mariah apparently reached out to Em to talk about possibly collaborating on her upcoming album, “Charmbracelet” Eminem says the two struck up a months-long romantic relationship but Mimi says it was strictly profesh. Then When he released his album “The Eminem Show” in May of 2002, the rapper name checked Mariah in the song “Superman” with the lyric, “What you trying to be? My new wife? What you, Mariah?” Later that same year Mariah released “Charmbracelet” (not surprisingly minus an Eminem collaboration) but it did include the song “Clown” which included lyrics like “you should’ve never intimated we were lovers when you know very well we never even touched each other” which many believed to be about Marshall Mathers. The two continued to trade barbs in the media including on Oprah where she basically “I don’t know her’d” Eminem by telling the talk show queen, “in terms of having an intimate relationship with men, I can name them all on one hand and he ain’t on the hand.” More back and forth continued over the years with Mariah eventually releasing her song “Obsessed” believed to be about Eminem’s inability to let it go. The video featured Mimi dressed as a dude, clearly designed to mock Eminem. While Eminem has jabbed back over the years, Mimi has long forgotten. She’s also never name checked him in any song where he’s mentioned her in at least three. Attacking your nemesis without ever speaking his name is the ultimate. We Stan.
She’s extravagantly extra
Mariah Carey isn’t exactly a minimalist, in fact she’s extra as hell and doesn’t try to pretend otherwise. She has a shoe room in her home, she owns Marilyn Monroe’s piano, she refuses to be seen in fluorescent lighting without sunglasses on, she pretty much lives in gowns once telling Vogue, “I’m not as casual as most people,” she travels with her own lighting crew. When she and ex-husband Nick Cannon renewed their vows in 2013, they booked Disneyland, dressed themselves and their twins as Disney princes and princesses for a ceremony which included 15 thousand flowers imported from around the globe, 10 thousand crystals, and gold glitter butterflies. When she appeared at a Television Critic’s Association press conference to promote her upcoming docuseries, “Mariah’s World” (she refused to call it a “reality show”) Mariah showed up with shirtless men, brought her own throne to sit in, and sipped champagne throughout the press conference. Mariah doesn’t pretend to be “just like us.” Because, dahling, she’s not.
She doesn’t move
At some point Mariah decided she no longer wanted to move. Her earlier videos like “Heartbreaker” and “Honey” featured her dancing but if you’ve seen her in a live performance lately you know that she barely moves anymore. She’ll take a few steps here and there, she’ll carried by her dancers, but her actual movement is minimal. Lethargy never looked so luxurious.
Her album names
Mariah Carey’s album titles read like they were put through a sparkle bedazzled generator co-developed by Hello Kitty and Lisa Frank rather than named by an actual adult human woman. Don’t believe us? Just look at her albumography: “Rainbow” “Butterfly” “Daydream” “Music Box” “Charmbracelet” and “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” are just a few. And you know what? We’re here for it.