“Every time you count Mariah out, she comes back swinging” – a sentiment shared by many-a-Lamb after the shambolic New Year’s Eve 2017 performance that kicked the singer’s year off in the worst way. Dominating headlines for Carey’s uncaring demeanor, shameless lipsyncing, and misfired choreography, the set of performances not only set in motion doubt about her abilities to perform, but drew concern the ‘Touch My Body’ belter had finally lost her “touch.”
To hush the naysayers, Carey called upon her trusted, longtime collaborators – Bryan Michael Cox and Jermaine Dupri – to aid with the creation of the perfect tune to hoist the diva back to the top of charts. Together, the trio cooked up ‘I Don’t’ – a fiery R&B ‘breakup anthem’ decorated with an infectious bass line and a set of sharp lyrics many would assume were musical darts for her ex-billionaire beau James Packer. Tapping rapper YG to assist, the song was preceded by a number of appetite-whetting teasers before its official February 3 launch…
On the critical front, the tune received glowing reviews with a number of reviewers likening its composition to some of the stronger entries housed on her acclaimed comeback album, 2005’s ‘Emancipation of Mimi.’ Praised for its ability to redirect attention from Carey’s horrific NYE performance and back to what really matters, her talent, the thumbs up came aplenty for the Donnell Jones-sampled number.
Yet, while the applause rang in for the song itself, ‘I Don’t did not see that fanfare reflected in the response to its uncomfortably seductive accompanying music video or its commercial performance. Making a modest #89 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 in the chart tallying week that followed, ‘I Don’t’ dipped out of the charts the following week never to return.
So, where was the misstep? Was ‘I Don’t’ simply not the best choice to silence naysayers who’ve long thought the diva “fell” or was limiting the song’s promotion to her E! reality series and minimal live performances its ultimate undoing?
In other words, tell us: