1. The time Mariah used the words “elusive,” “blatant,” and “abruptly” in a single verse.
Mariah’s 1997 video for “Honey,” aside from featuring fabulously insane wetsuit and stiletto ensembles and a choreographed sailor dance, includes plenty of vocab heavy hitters.
“I can’t be elusive with you honey
‘Cause it’s blatant that I’m feeling you
And it’s too hard for me to leave abruptly
‘Cause you’re the only thing I wanna do”
And with just four lines, Mimi left us strung out for another taste of her lyrical honey.
2. The time MC taught us all what “incessantly” means.
“Heartbreaker you’ve got the best of me
But I just keep on comin’ back incessantly”
Incessantly, an adverb meaning “with unflagging resolve”, best describes the nature of our unyielding love for Mariah’s pink-crochet-top-and-denim-with-the-waistband-cut-off look in the 1999 “Heartbreaker” video.
3. The time Mimi used the word “unvarnished” on a song that featured 98 Degrees.
While Jessica Simpson pontificated on whether Chicken of The Sea tuna was tuna or chicken with then-husband Nick Lachey, Mariah Carey was busy blowing us away with her unvarnished lyrical truth and sweet harmonizing on 1999’s “Thank God I Found You” featuring R&B singer Joe and the boys of 98 Degrees:
“I finally found unvarnished truth
I was all by myself for the longest time
So cold inside
And the hurt from the heartache would not subside”
4. The time she got T-Pain to rhyme “dehydrate” with “migrate.”
Mariah’s 2008 E=MC² album was notable in many ways: it sold over 2.5 million copies, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and gave Mimi her eighteenth number one single, causing her to surpass Elvis Presley as the artist with the most number one singles in US history. Its title also pays homage to Einstein’s earthshattering Theory of Relativity (how’s that for mindblowing?). Most importantly, though, it gave T-Pain the opportunity to flex his mighty lyrical muscles on the opening track, “Migrate:”
“Whatcha waitin’ on,
I can’t stand in one place,
I need that Patron and I,
Hate when I don’t get it my way,
So don’t wait for me to buy drinks,
Or you gon’ dehydrate,
It’s time to migrate.”
5. The time Mariah reminded us that she “brings that levity.”
“Nah you ain’t seeing things,
I brings that levity,
Take me for a ride.”
This is also the album that brought us the greatest Mariah Carey GIF of all time (see above), from another of the album’s classics, “It’s Like That.” Seriously, can enough great things be said about the masterpiece that is E=MC²?
6. The time Mariah was all “breathless and fervid amid the dandelions.”
1997’s Butterfly was a watershed album for Mimi: her first release after separating from her manager/husband Tommy Mottola, it marked the first time the elusive chanteuse had complete control over her artistic vision. It also gave us the delectable track “Fourth of July,” where MC paints a vision of the aforementioned breathless and fervid languishing amid dandelions.
“So starry eyed
On the flowery hillside
Breathless and fervid
Amid the dandelions”
This album also features the incredible standout track “Breakdown,” which features Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, as well as the terms “unyielding,” “nonchalant,” and “guise.”
7. The time she used Spanish, French, and English in a single verse on 2008’s “O.O.C.”
“So s’cusa me, te quiero mucho papi
Je ne sais pas mais c’est la vie
When you’re messin’ with the one
True lover that make you O.O.C.”
If I can translate:
Me. I Am Mariah. The greatest lyricist to ever grace this earth. Not only do I oscillate between languages with the grace and fluidity of Muhammad Ali in the boxing ring, I also coin abbreviations whenever I deem appropriate. My skills are O.O.C. (out of control, baby).
8. The time Mariah tricked you into learning what “despondency” was.
“Petals,” a heartfelt ballad from 2008’s Rainbow, is so chock full of grandiose vocabulary that it reads like those SAT hot words flashcards your English teacher made you memorize in high school:
“I gravitated towards a patriarch
So young predictably
I was resigned to spend my life
With a maze of misery /
A boy and a girl befriended me
We’re bonded through despondency
I stayed so long but finally
I fled to save my sanity”
9. The time Mariah taught us important lessons about “unbridled” horses and beauty which must “flourish” in the light.
“I have learned that beauty
Has to flourish in the light
Wild horses run unbridled
Or their spirit dies”
“Butterfly,” the 1997 song from which these poignant words stem, also wins the award for best non-Harlequin novel use of the word “unbridled.”
10. And lastly, the time Mimi rhymed “rendezvous” with “Wendy Interview.”
“Touch My Body,” Mariah Carey’s 2008 chef-d’œuvre, has the chanteuse simultaneously imploring her lover to touch her body while also refraining from publicly detailing the intricacies of their sensual liaison.
“‘Cause if you run your mouth and brag
About this secret rendezvous
I will hunt you down
‘Cause they be all up in my bidness
Like a Wendy Interview
But this is private
Between you and I”
Notably, the singer likened the experience of having her illicit rendezvous made public to the invasion of privacy one might experience during an interview for employment at prominent fast-food chain restaurant Wendy’s, thus forever endearing herself in our hearts as the unrivaled wordsmith of our time.
BONUS MOMENT: The time Mariah had a “fragrant moment” on the Home Shopping Network.
So many festive moments.