For over two decades, Mariah Carey has been knocking out hits and keeping her name relevant. Whether it’s with her sheer beauty or knack for hitting the high notes, this ageless superstar has seen music evolve more-so than most female vocalists in any genre. However, while many of her recent R&B counterparts have gained success from catering their tunes specifically to a Hip-Hop audience by collaborating with rappers, most of them wouldn’t even be around if weren’t for Mimi headlining that urban crossover style in the first place.
So, to shine some light on the influence Mariah’s had on the industry, TSS has compiled 20 of the best collaborations this famed NY singer has done with MCs over her illustrious career. Having helped everyone from Jay-Z to ODB and Snoop to Ice Cube, you can’t say her impact isn’t impressive.
Busta Rhymes feat. Mariah Carey & The Flipmode Squad – “I Know What You Want”
To this day Busta should still be thanking both Mariah Carey and Rick Rock for this 2002 single. With the underrated Bay Area producer offering maybe his best beat ever and the R&B queen killing her call & response hook, this was the track that made fans forget about the “Woo-Haa” version of Rhymes and got the Flipmode founder more radio love than ever.
Mariah Carey Feat. Jadakiss & Styles P – “We Belong Together” (DJ Clue Remix)
When Mariah returned with her 10th album Emancipation of Mimi in 2005, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the original version of “We Belong Together.” Surprisingly though, this uptempo, DJ Clue-produced remix to the double platinum single never really got many spins outside of Hot 97, which is odd considering how flawless Carey comes across atop this break-beat with two-thirds of The Lox.
Mariah Carey Feat. Mobb Deep – “The Roof” (Remix)
Dark, gloomy and chilling are the words that come to mind upon hearing this remix to Mariah’s Butterfly single. Sampling a then less-mainstream “Shook Ones 2” and bringing the QB rhymers into the fold for a few bars towards the end of the track, this unappreciated gem had both sexes stuck off the realness.
Krayzie Bone Feat. Mariah Carey & Da Brat – “I Still Believe”
There aren’t many artists that can turn a song from Willy Wonka & The Charlie Factory into a legit hip-hop single, but on “Still Believe” Mariah used her range to do just that. What makes it even better is that the smooth single sits amidst tracks like “Dummy Man” and Heated Heavy” on Krayzie’s Thug Mentality solo debut, giving the double-album a well-rounded sound.
Mariah Carey Feat. Jay-Z – “Heartbreaker”
If you go back to 1999, “Heartbreaker” was one of those radio songs that got played so much you began to loathe it, even if you secretly loved the bounce. On top of that, this Stacey Latisaw recreation also helped Jigga Man break into the mainstream market he’d end up owning years later.
Jay-Z Feat. Mariah Carey – “Things That You Do”
Returning the favor for the previous entry, Mariah helped out a “new & improved” Jay-Z on this Swizzy-produced, flute-friendly collabo, which might even be more forgotten than the album it came from, Life & Times of S. Carter Vol. 3. Say what you want about the track as a whole, you can’t front on Hov’s coming-of-age lyrics.