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The Mariah Carey and Eminem Feud

An Observer's Guide to the Words and Music


We may never know for sure if Mariah Carey and Eminem did or did not actually have a romantic relationship. However, there is a great deal of smoke if there truly is no fire. The feud has evolved over a number of years and has generated at least one hit song it seems. Here is your observer's guide to this pop war of words and music.

In the Beginning - 2001-2002

Mariah Carey
Courtesy Island Records

The feud between Mariah Carey and Eminem dates back to 2001 when the pair apparently discussed working together on music for Carey's Charmbracelet album. No music ever did come after the discussions, but reports did surface that the pair were dating. In 2002 in an interview he gave to Rolling Stone Eminem did discuss the rumors and stated, "There's truth to that. But on the whole personal level, I'm not really feeling it. I just don't like her as a person." In December 2002 around the release of Charmbracelet, Mariah Carey appeared on Larry King Live and said, "I hung out with him, I spoke to him on the phone. I think I was probably with him a total of four times. And I don't consider that dating somebody."

The First Musical Volley

Courtesy Aftermath Music

Eminem's May 2002 album The Eminem Show includes a song "Superman" that Eminem has stated is in part about his relationship with Mariah Carey. It includes the lines, "What you tryin' to be, my new wife? What you Mariah?" Reportedly, Mariah Carey responded in her own way musically with the song "Clown" from Charmbracelet. Her words included, "You don't want the world to know that you're just a puppet show, and the little boy inside often sits at home alone and cries."

Voicemail - 2003

In May 2003 the battle raged again through statements given to New York newspapers. An associate of Eminem told the New York Post that the rapper had saved a number of extensive voicemails from Mariah Carey and planned to possibly use them in a song. They were described as "weird and graphic" and included Mariah Carey speaking in "a baby voice." Mariah Carey fired back through the New York Daily News saying, "I don't know what the hell he's doing. It's a little excessive. Doesn't it seem a little bit girly? Like we're in a catfight." She also managed to explain, "I have little voices. I do things like that that are fun and games."

A Little Bit Diva, A Little Bit Regular? - 2006

Despite a period of quiet, the battle between Mariah Carey and Eminem did not come to an end. In 2006 Eminem took to the airwaves of his Shade 45 Sirius Satellite Radio station to discuss the matter again. This time he said, "Yes, me and Mariah did have a relationship for about a good six, seven months...I wasn't really into what she was into. Our personalities collided. She's a diva, and I'm a little more regular, I guess."

"Bagpipes from Baghdad" - 2009

Eminem - Relapse
Courtesy Interscope

Mariah Carey married actor and rapper Nick Cannon in April 2008. This introduced a third character into the feud. In May 2009, Eminem's long-awaited four years in the making album Relapse was released. It included the song "Bagpipes from Baghdad" that explicitly addresses both Cannon and Carey. Eminem muses about what happened in his relationship with Mariah Carey and he threatens her new husband. Nick Cannon responded with an extensive blog entry. In the post he referred to Eminem as "Slim Lamey" and said, "So, Miss Marshall, I'm going to make you wish you never spoke my name and regret the ungodly things you said about my wife." Eminem later admitted in an interview his lyrics were harsh and he just wished the couple well.

"Obsessed" - 2009

Mariah Carey - Obsessed
Courtesy Island Records

It did not take long for the next move in the ongoing feud between Mariah Carey and Eminem. Mariah Carey's single "Obsessed" appeared in June 2009. Despite protesting from Nick Cannon, it seems blatantly obvious that the song is mostly in response to the ongoing conflict with Eminem. Among Mariah Carey's disses in song were the lines, "You a mom and pop, I'm a corporation, I'm the press conference, you a conversation." To drive home the point that it is about Eminem, Mariah Carey appeared dressed as a man in trademark Eminem clothing. The song became a genuine hit single by debuting at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"The Warning" - 2009

Eminem's response came July 30, 2009 with the release of the song "The Warning." Beginning with, ""Only reason I dissed you in the first place is because you denied seeing me. Now I'm pissed off," Eminem set down the most extensive details and threats yet. He spells out explicit details about an alleged encounter with Carey as well as making threats to release saved voicemails and photos. The initial response to Eminem's latest has been a Twitter post from Nick Cannon using Biblical quotes to imply Eminem will ultimately have to answer to God.

  • Listen to "The Warning" (warning very explicit language)

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