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    The Little Told Story Of Why Mariah Carey Really Doesn't "Know" Jennifer Lopez

    Learn about the deep-seated reasons why two legendary divas just don't care for each other.

    It's the shadefest that lives in pop diva infamy.

    Via giphy.com

    When, way back in 2003, Mariah Carey was asked about fellow performers Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, it went a little something like this:

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    For those who can't hear the audio, it starts off pretty great with MC paying some nice compliments to Queen Bey. "I love Beyoncé. Beyoncé is fabulous," Mariah says, while snapping her fingers. "She's a great writer, great singer. You know, she's excellent. She's a very sweet person, as well. Very sweet." So far, so good. But what does Mimi think of J. Lo? Her facial expression momentarily shifts to a frown as she utters: "I don't know her," before recovering with a quick smile and a shake of her head as if to say, "Next topic, daaaahling."

    But while most people cite Mariah's clearly shady comment as the beginning of the feud, it actually goes much deeper than that. For the whole story, we have to go back some 15+ years. A time we shall refer to as B.G.: Before Glitter.

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    The first 10 or so years of Mariah's professional career were marked with almost unrivaled success. She sold millions upon millions of records and had (at the time) 13 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits under her belt. The period was also tainted with much emotional turmoil for Mariah, whose marriage to her svengali-like ex-husband Tommy Mottola was tumultuous and ended on poor terms in 1998. Splitting with a partner is never easy, particularly in the public eye, but to further complicate matters, Mariah's ex Tommy was also the head of her label, Columbia Records (a subsidiary of Sony, which is important later).

    Mariah and Tommy Mottola's divorce was ugly, though at the time they both downplayed it in the press. Mariah remained signed to Tommy's record label.

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    After years of battling Tommy for more creative control over her projects, Mariah began working in earnest on a long-planned, semi-autobiographical film and soundtrack project called Glitter – without Tommy's input. Tommy wasn't content to let Mariah out of his sight, however, and began allegedly using his power within the industry in an attempt to sabotage Mariah's career.

    Things started getting particularly sketchy when Mariah began prepping the soundtrack to Glitter, identifying the forgotten disco jam "Firecracker" by Yellow Music Orchestra as a sample she wanted to use for the project.

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    youtube.com / Via youtube.com

    Whether she was complicit or not, Jennifer Lopez (who was signed to Sony and gearing up for the release of her second studio album) became Tommy's pawn in his attempts to thwart Mariah's further success.

    Tommy discovered this, rushing to have the same sample cleared for J. Lo's usage.

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    Being that Glitter was being commissioned by Sony Pictures, and Tommy was at the time also the head of that company, it is believed Tommy was able to find out information about the film and soundtrack in its earlier stages, perhaps viewing this early cut of the trailer that contained the sample. In a 2002 Fox News report, the music publisher of the "Firecracker" revealed: "Mariah Carey called us to license a sample from 'Firecracker' first. Then, within a month, Jennifer Lopez also called for it." It had never been sampled before Mariah called to ask about it.

    Though Mariah ended up replacing the YMO sample with a sample of Cameo's "Candy," many of the melodic elements of the original version of "Loverboy" remained in the finished product.

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    Virgin Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

    If you listen carefully, the hook in particular fits the musical pattern of the original sample, as does rapper and close MC friend Da Brat's verse on the remix.

    But that wasn't all. Producer Irv Gotti all but confirmed Tommy's intent to make sure Jennifer's project, using all the key ingredients Mariah had lined up for Glitter, would be released first.

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    Ja Rule, at the time riding a massive wave of success, had been brought in to collaborate with Mariah and Nate Dogg on a duet called "If We." Gotti told XXL in 2002 that Tommy called him up after hearing "If We" and hastily set up a remix and music video shoot for "I'm Real" that would follow the same formula as "If We." "Immediately I knew what he was doing because we just finished the Mariah record," said Gotti.

    The result of that session? The "I'm Real (Murda Remix)."

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    Mariah, crushed by the betrayal of her own record company and left scrambling in its wake to make changes to Glitter, suffered a widely-publicized bout of exhaustion, and what followed was Glitter's outright failure both in box offices and on the charts. J. Lo, meanwhile, experienced the peak of her musical success during this period.

    Immediately following the scandal, Mariah made a plethora of comments regarding the topic, even before the "I don't know her" heard 'round the world.

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    Since the mid '00s, however, Mariah has stayed relatively quiet on the subject unless asked point blank about her opinion on Jenny from the Block.

    Jennifer, for her part, has come to throw a little shade of her own despite initially denying a feud.

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    Wendy Williams, as usual, living for the mess.

    Mariah gave perhaps her most detailed explanation yet on the subject on Watch What Happens Live in May 2016, even acknowledging Jennifer's recent shady assertion that Mariah is "forgetful."

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    The above is a typical non-answer reiterating her insistence that she doesn't know Jennifer personally, and thus can't speak to her character (i.e., the way she had with Beyoncé).

    So there you have it – the cold war of pop star feuds that still has no end in sight. While we enjoy the constant snarky one-liners back and forth by these two legendary artists, part of us wishes they would bury the hatchet and chalk it up to Tommy's messiness. Either way, the origins of the rift frame the story in a much more intriguing (and juicy) light that simple "female jealousy," and for that we can all be glad.

    Until a resolution is reached, for those J. Lo fans upset by the perceived slight, we say...