20 Years of “Heartbreaker”

20 Years of “Heartbreaker”

This past weekend marked the 20th anniversary of Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” (featuring Jay-Z). It was the lead single from her sixth studio album, Rainbow, and her 14th a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, which put her ahead of Michael Jackson and in third place behind Elvis Presley and the Beatles — she has since passed Elvis.

“Heartbreaker” was Mariah’s first single that featured a rapper on the original version (as opposed to a remix) and Jay-Z’s first No. 1 hit. The song, which sample’s Stacy Lattisaw’s “Attack of the Name Game,” was supposed to be on the Glitter soundtrack, but due to delays, she decided to include it on Rainbow — an album she recorded in three weeks because she was “ready to get the FUCK! ASAP!” out of her contract with Columbia Records. Long story for another post.

At the time, hating-ass critics accused Mariah of making a “Fantasy” redux, but anyone with a good ear knows that it’s closer to “Dreamlover” than anything else. And besides, only certain artists — typically female, typically “glamorous” and “girly” — get called to task for having distinct styles. The industry is packed with raggedy rock and country acts making the same song over and over again, so I don’t wanna hear it.

The “Heartbreaker” remix, which featured Da Brat and Missy Elliot, is arguably the best remix Mariah ever made, as are the videos — for the original and the remix, with the latter being one of the most expensive of all time. Check ’em out below.



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