Jul 24 2009

MTV NEWS: Superstar Mariah Talks Anonymity, “Obsessed”

< > MTV NEWS - There aren't too many artists in music who can be called legends, but Mariah Carey is definitely one of them.

I haven't had many opportunities in my career to interview her, but when the opportunity arises to chop it up with an artist who has sold over 175 million records worldwide, then it's my pleasure.

With her new album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (look out for Mariah's story behind the album title on MTV News) almost complete, it's an interesting time to catch up with MC.

Uptown at BET's "106 & Park," Mariah was premiering her new video for her remix of "Obsessed," featuring Gucci Mane, one of the hottest MCs in the game. Not enough is said about Carey's ear for hip-hop. Don't forget that she was the artist who collaborated with rappers like Jay-Z, ODB, Nas and the Lox early on in their careers. Gucci Mane is another great choice.

It's not difficult to know when Mariah is in the building. You may not see her at first, but you'll definitely see her entourage. The girl doesn't roll light, but that's just another reason to love her. After all, she is Mariah Carey.

As we walked in, Mariah was looking glam, surrounded by a team of stylists and make up artists getting her ready for the interview. Nick, my producer, set up the shot and we were away. We spoke in detail about the new album, her musical direction and progression from the last album.

For Memoirs MC worked with several producers for the first time (including Timbaland and The-Dream) and old friends like Jermaine Dupri.

We got to the bottom of the big question: Is the video for "Obsessed" directed at anyone in particular? Turns out she was more inspired by a family member than anybody else.

But perhaps the most insightful moment of the entire interview came when we were speaking about how Mariah dressed up in disguise on the shoot for "Obsessed." With her hair tied back and wearing a hoodie and a fake beard, the unrecognizable Mariah actually braved it alone for the first time in years as she walked around New York sans bodyguard. So when I asked her what she would do if she could be totally anonymous for a day, I was genuinely taken aback by her answer. She said "I'd like to make friends." It might sound strange but if you think about it, Mariah has been a star since her teens. Ever since she first broke into the scene, Mariah has been Mariah Carey: Superstar. With that immense talent comes the fact that she will never know if people speak to her because she's a nice girl or because she's a star. I didn't feel sorry for her when she said it, but I did acknowledge that it was an incredibly honest answer from a woman who just happens to be one of the biggest stars in the world.

Check out clips from the interview here and here.
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