Mariah Carey’s “I Don’t:” Defiant and Empowering

By Christopher Collado, Contributing Writer

Despite going through a whirlwind of drama and controversy over the past year — from breaking up with ex-fiancee James Packer to her malfunctioning New Year’s Eve performance — Mariah Carey has risen above it all and has released her new song “I Don’t” featuring rapper YG on Friday, Feb. 4. “I Don’t” is Carey’s first release since her album “Infinity” in 2015. The two-year wait was definitely worth — the new single does not disappoint.

Although she’s never been one to shy away from from creating iconic breakup records — recall “We Belong Together” and “My All” — Carey shows her creativity and ability to evolve as an artist while staying true to her classic vulnerability in “I Don’t.” Carey lets listeners into her personal life in, with lyrics that focus on overcoming a difficult breakup as she sings over a Jermaine Dupri-produced track “said you would always be mine / feeding me nothing but lies / I was so gone, I admit it / happy messed up for a minute.” Carey does not shrink from the emotions she went through, and vividly details her breakup with her ex-fiancee. She uses her voice to truly express her feelings as her tone goes from sounding regretful and upset in the verses, to sassy and empowered.

Throughout the track, YG sings “I know you love me / you just don’t trust me / You don’t understand me / but you love it when I call you Ms. Carey.” The line is essential to the song — it echoes the manipulation pervaded in Carey’s relationship. Even though the YG’s singing parts help complete the song, his rap verse feels very empty not really providing anything fresh to the song instead it feels like a filler part.

Unsurprisingly, Carey proves that 27 years into her career, she can still create hits. “I Don’t” is an empowering song for anyone who has experienced a difficult breakup or abusive relationship. She shows time and time again that you can not take her out of the music community dialogue just because of a controversy. She will always deliver quality music.

Listen to “I Don’t” by Mariah Carey here.

Email Christopher Collado at music@nyunews.com

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