Mariah Carey Gives Us A New Breakup Anthem

by S. Atkinson
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images

If you're a fan of chaise lounge pop (I just made that genre up, but, as the name suggests, I'm talking about music that you can drape over your furniture in a silk negligee to), then you're going to adore Mimi's latest offering. It's so smooth it's basically a massage for your eardrums. Mariah Carey's "I Don't" lyrics contrast smooth grooves with the track's turbulent emotional content. The song has been described as a “an anthem for women overcoming harsh breakups,” and Fact Magazine alleges the track is inspired by Carey's recent breakup with her former fiancee, investor James Pack.

If, at this point, you're wondering if Pack sung the male part, since the song effectively functions as a conversation about Carey's relationship, nope. That's not Carey's former fiancee but rapper Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, better known as YG. If YG's name sounds familiar, that's because he's behind the song "FDT (F*ck Donald Trump)" that's been playing on loop for up to 20 to 30 minutes at a time at radio stations across South Carolina, Kentucky, Seattle, and Texas — thanks to some heroic hackers.

But here he's less political, more personal, in the role as jilted paramour, trying to persuade Carey that they should stay together and make it work.

Intro (YG)

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
I know you love me
You just don't trust me
You need to understand me
But you love it when I call you Ms. Carey, yeah

There's a theme here when it comes to the problem this loved-up couple have been having. I'll give you three guesses. No, it's not about addressing your favorite singer in the way she's accustomed to; it's about trust. Just like everyone else in the world, Carey occasionally has trust issues (at least according to her man friend).

Verse One (Carey)

Somewhere in another life
We stole a moment in time
Gave you everything that you needed
I was even down to repeat it
Said you would always be mine
Feeding me nothing but lies
I was so gone, I admit it
Happy messed up for a minute

The singer gets accusatory here. Sure, some of this sounds like routine stuff for a relationship, gorgeous Hallmark beginnings that wither with the passage of time. But can you blame her for having trust issues if this guy fed her "nothing but lies"? The "Happy messed up for a minute" feels poignant if you've ever stayed in a relationship that was bad for you too long because you were head over heels.

Chorus (Carey)

But I'm tired of cryin', no more tears
Pity party of the year
Cold at night cause you're not here
Leaving you was my worst fear
I was caught up, I was... blind
You kept playin' with my... mind
Told you I'm finished, gassed up the whip and...
Rear view, bye'
Cause when you love someone
You just don't treat them bad
You messed up all we had
Prolly think I'm coming back
But I don't, I don't
'Cause boy I was buggin'
Thinkin' somehow I could trust you
See, I used to love you
But I don't, I don't
'Cause boy I was buggin
'Thinkin' somehow I could trust you
But you don't mean nothing
'Cause I don't, I don't

Phew. This sounds like a lot of messed up stuff to deal with in a relationship: constant absences, gaslighting, mind games, and your garden variety sh*tty relationship stuff. Otherwise, why would tough cookie Carey be weeping on the regular? If this sounds all too familiar, take this as encouragement from none other than one of the best sopranos in the business to find someone who makes you happy.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Verse Two (Carey)

I tried to make it work, no matter know how much it hurt
You had to make it all about you
Tell me why you go and do me like you do?
I went from me and you
To walking right out on you
I know you want love, in your feelings
Frontin' on me like your love was the realest

he was so crazy about this human in her life that she put all the work in, and her boyfriend still made it about him. "I went from me and you/To walking right out on you" might sound familiar if you're someone who falls in love too easily, but has enough self-respect to exit stage left if you get taken for granted.

Verse Three (YG)

Hold up, hold up, hold up, hold up
Hold up, I just got you ring, for what?
I put you in the game, now it's game over
Every time you went to the Louis store you got chauffeured
Hold up, how you gon' leave that?
Hold up, give me my ring back
Never mind, you can keep that
'Cause every time you look at your ring, me, you gon' dream that

YG's character reveals his true colors; he's an entitled materialist who thinks that, just because he proposed, he has some claim to Carey. "Hold up, give me my ring back" feels petty, but "Never mind, you can keep that" so that you can look at the ring and dream of me feels even more so. Nobody needs someone like this in their life.

So, if you need a little push to separate from a significant other, plug your headphones in and blast this at full volume. It's smooth, it's melodic, but, most importantly, it's a call to action for anyone who's stayed too long in a relationship with someone who treated them like trash.