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What were Mariah Carey’s top 3 hip-hop collaborations?

Amanda Parris
Marvin's Room: Episode 56 October 6, 2017

R&B on the CBC


In the early ‘90s, Mariah Carey was the princess of the pop world. With her first four singles reaching number 1 and countless awards under her belt, everyone in the industry was clamouring to work with her. But what few knew at the time was that Carey's heart wasn't exclusively committed to pop. As her creative independence grew, so did her catalogue of hip-hop collaborations and the world began to see a new side of the singer with the five-octave range. This week, we're revisiting some of the best.

'Fantasy (Remix)' feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard

When the pop princess teamed up with Wu-Tang Clan's wild card, it marked Carey's first collaboration with a rapper and from all reports, her introduction to the hip-hop world was anything but smooth. From Puff Daddy's hesitation to align with the someone so outside what he deemed cool to Ol' Dirty Bastard's recalcitrant recording process, the alchemy Carey had dreamed of was not immediately obvious. But when the song was released, it quickly became a widely recognized classic in the hip-hop remix canon.

'Honey' feat. Ma$e and the Lox

In the late '90s Carey was feeling restricted in more ways than one. She divorced her husband, pulled together a new creative team and revamped her entire style into a sexier, more mature Carey. For the anthem that would announce this new iteration of the pop diva, she brought together a who's who of the mid-'90s hip-hop world: Stevie J, Puff Daddy and Q-Tip worked behind the scenes while the Lox's Jadakiss, Styles P and Ma$e provided the rhymes. "Honey" became the song that announced to the world that Carey, from here on, was going to be less pop and more hip-hop.

'Breakdown' feat. Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone

In a recent Billboard story, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member Wish Bone shared that when they walked into the studio to meet Carey for the first time, he and Krayzie immediately got starstruck. However once they began to work, the magic flowed, with Carey matching her flow to the harmonies of Bone Thugs in impressive and surprising ways. This song is an under-appreciated gem in her catalogue but it remains one of her best collaborations to date.

Marvin's Room playlist for Oct. 6, 2017:

  1. The Jackson 5, "I Want You Back"
  2. Destiny’s Child feat. Wyclef Jean, "No, No, No Pt. 2"
  3. Miguel feat. Travis Scott, "Sky Walker"
  4. Lou Val, "Rush Hour"
  5. Mariah Carey feat. Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone, "Breakdown"
  6. Zeina, "Fallin'"
  7. Drake, "Feel no Ways"
  8. Patti LaBelle, "Somebody Loves You Baby"
  9. The Weeknd, "Die for You"
  10. Everything is Recorded feat. Sampha, Ibeyi, Wiki and Kamasi Washington, "Mountains of Gold"
  11. Desiire feat. Jordan Jones, "No Feelings"
  12. Adria Kain, "Something New"