Mariah's Not-So-Secret Weapon: Collaborating With Underground Rappers
Pairing pop stars with rappers has been a winning formula for radio exposure for years, and Mariah Carey was one of the first to get it. Since featuring Wu-Tang Clan's late Ol' Dirty Bastard on a remix of her 1995 song "Fantasy," Mariah has recruited some of the biggest names in hip-hop to appear on alternative versions of her songs. Photo: Mychal Watts, WireImage
But what separates Carey from her counterparts is her consistency and emphasis on working with rappers who are on the cusp of going mainstream. Her latest single, "Thirsty," introduces Atlanta's underground rapper Rich Homie Quan to her massive audience, a great opportunity for the artist who has yet to release his debut album.
Of course, the rap stars aren't the only ones who benefit from the collaborations. Carey's associations with hot new talent keeps her relevant with younger music fans and shows she's up on current trends.
We've checked Carey's track record and have listed some of her best records with rappers on the verge of being the next big thing.
"Thirsty" f. Rich Homie Quan (2014)
"Fantasy" (Remix) f. Ol' Dirty Bastard (1995)
Photo: Mychal Watts, WireImage
"Honey" (Remix) f. The Lox, Black Rob, Mase (1997)
"Breakdown" f. Krazyie Bone & Wish Bone (1998)
Cleveland rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were longtime superstars by the time they collaborated with Carey on "Breakdown," the third single from her "Butterfly" album. But their harmony was on display here as they actually sounded great alongside the singer with a five-octave vocal range.