Should Have Been Bigger: Mariah Carey & YG’s Defiant “I Don’t”
In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.
There are two kinds of Lambs — a subset that is stuck in 1993 listening to Music Box (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and the rest of us, who have followed Mariah Carey on her journey through R&B, hip-hop, pop and everything in-between. The former group still buys the albums and comes to the shows, but they really don’t enjoy songs like “I Don’t.” Which is a shame because I will go to my grave arguing that it’s one of Mimi’s best singles. In many ways, this is superstar’s ultimate kiss-off anthem, and she has written a lot of them.
Released just after Mariah broke off her engagement to billionaire James Packer, “I Don’t” is the musical equivalent of a raised middle finger. “Somewhere in another life, we stole a moment in time,” the 5-octave angel begins the trap-leaning bop. “Gave you everything that you needed, I was even down to repeat it.” Only it didn’t work out the way she planned. “I’m tired of crying, no more tears,” Mimi sings on the pre-chorus. “Pity party of the year.” Instead, the fabulous 50-year-old makes the decision to move on.
“‘Cause when you love someone, you just don’t treat them bad,” Mariah reminds her ex-fiancé on the chorus. “You messed up all we had, probably think I’m coming back — but I don’t.” To really drive the point home, the living legend wore her would-be wedding dress in the video… that is when she wasn’t lounging around in the back seat of YG’s sports car in lingerie. Can you say iconic? In many ways, “I Don’t” was the blueprint for 2018’s brilliant Caution. The sound is modern, but strongly informed by ’90s R&B. Revisit the sorely underrated bop below.