Should Have Been Bigger: Mariah Carey’s “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)”

Mike Wass | August 3, 2020 1:10 pm
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It’s not easy being a “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” truther. Even the most ardent Lamb seems to have a grudge against Mariah Carey’s 2012 stand-alone single. And I get it. The fact that Mimi plays a supporting role to featured rappers Rick Ross and Meek Mill — at least, on the original version — is a little hard to swallow. But it doesn’t change that fact that “Triumphant” is a genuinely uplifting bop about overcoming adversity and persevering in the face of hardship. In some ways, it resonates more in 2020 than it did upon release.

“Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” was originally going to be the lead single for Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse. The serial chart-topper penned the hook during a rough patch. Mimi was caring for her then-husband (who shall not be named) in hospital when she learned that friend and collaborator Whitney Houston had passed away. “It was important for me to write something that would… help me get through the moment,” she revealed in an interview. “That’s where ‘Stay triumphant, keep on living’ came from.” The track eventually morphed into a mid-tempo hip-hop anthem.

“Can’t fall down, stay triumphant, keep on living,” Mariah belts on the chorus over Jermaine Dupri’s slick production. “Stay on your toes, get off the ropes — don’t let them ever count you out.” Despite living up to its title, “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” was met with a lukewarm reception. However, the living legend had one more trick up her sleeve… if she wore them. And that was a pair of feel-good remixes. While the “Pulse Club Remix” is very much of its time, the “Vintage Throwback Mix” is a camp classic that propelled the song to the top of the club chart.

Eight years have passed and “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” is still a musical pep talk that encourages you to dust yourself off and keep on going. For that alone, it deserves to be more than a footnote in Mariah’s holy discography. Revisit the underrated gem below.

The original version:

The “Triumphant (Vintage Throwback Mix)”:

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