Mariah Carey Penned This Diss Track About Eminem

Pop diva Mariah Carey and off-the-wall rapper Eminem duking it out in a lyrical battle might sound like fodder for an early 2000s fever dream, but allow us to be the first to remind you: no, you weren't hallucinating, and yes, that actually happened. And it was just as chaotic and confusing as one might expect from a feud between two musicians who, from the outside looking in, appear to orbit in two completely different circles. 

Perhaps the strongest thread of commonality between the two is their willingness to share exactly what's on their mind. Eminem has built a career on rap that oscillates between brazenly goofy to ruthlessly biting, frequently name-dropping celebs at random throughout his verses in varying degrees of vulgarity. And while Carey might deliver her remarks with a bit more sugar — à la the infamous "I Don't Know Her" meme — her reputation as a diva certainly precedes her. 

So, when the two stars started pointing their larger-than-life attitudes toward each other, it was truly a sight to behold. Their lyrical feud seemed to be sparked by Eminem, but Carey was quick to respond.

Eminem's first rumblings about Mariah

Given Eminem's track record of insulting women in his music, it's unsurprising that he started the lyrical beef. Eminem has wished violence on and slung insults at a lot of people, from his mother and ex-wife to celebrities like Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, the Kardashian Sisters, Christina Aguilera, and Pamela Anderson. And in 2002, he added Mariah Carey to the list. 

The relationship (or lack thereof) between Eminem and Carey is messy. With so much he-said, she-said, it's hard to separate truth from fiction. According to Complex, the musicians allegedly dated briefly in 2001. The following year, Eminem directly mentioned Carey in his "Superman" track, which included the lyrics, "What you tryin' to be, my new wife? What you, Mariah? Fly through twice." Carey, however, denied the implication that the two ever had a sexual relationship. 

The accusation and subsequent denial prompted a years-long feud, with both celebrities taking vague digs at one another in their respective live performances. But in 2009, Eminem was a bit more direct. In "Bagpipes from Baghdad," the rapper says, "Mariah, what ever happened to us? Why did we ever break up?" And, "Nick Cannon better back the f*** up, I'm not playin', I want her back, you punk. I mean, I really want you bad, you c***. Nick, you had your fun, I've come to kick you in your sack of junk."

Mariah Carey responds to the rapper's remarks

"Bagpipes" was released in May 2009, and one month later, Carey released a lyrical retort of her own. The first single off her twelfth studio album, "Memoirs of a Perfect Angel," seemed to reply to Eminem's comments directly. In the chorus of "Obsessed," the singer croons, "Why you so obsessed with me? Boy, I want to know! Lyin' that you're sexin' me, when everybody knows it's clear that you're upset with me."

Carey continues later in the song, "Tellin' the world how much you miss me, but we never were, so why you trippin'? You a mom and pop, I'm a corporation. I'm the press conference, you a conversation." In the music video for "Obsessed," Carey even plays a character who looks suspiciously like Eminem, with baggy clothes, a dark goatee, and a ball cap.

Never one to mince words, Eminem responded shortly after with "The Warning," which addressed Carey throughout the entire song, threatening to release proof of their alleged sexual relationship. Carey never responded, but her then-husband Nick Cannon released what appeared to be his own reply with his 2010 track, "I'm A Slick Rick." Carey and Cannon divorced in 2016, and Eminem and Carey both seem to have moved on from their feud — lyrically speaking, anyway — leaving us with only artifacts from one of the sloppiest, cringiest musical battles of the aughts.