Jermaine Dupri Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Mariah Carey "We Belong Together" (2005)

Producer: Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal
Album: The Emancipation of Mimi
Label: Island

"I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on in Mariah's life at that particular point in time. I just knew her as my friend, and we had a hit, and we had hits before that. Like, if I come to the studio, I'm going to make a hit record with you. And that's it. She came to the studio, and that's all we did. I was trying to make a record that I felt like she should make, and I also had a blueprint that she wasn't making this type of music. So I was like, 'If you make a song like this, I believe this is what people wanted to hear from you.' That's what a producer is supposed to do. They offer that information. I kept pulling a fine line, saying, 'Listen, if you make a song like this, this is what they want to hear from you.' Truly, that's what it was. [They wanted to hear] her sing.

"They consider her 'the voice,' they consider her what American Idol is, basically. Singers, a bunch of people trying to sing, they consider her the top of the food chain. American Idol is not a rap show, it's about singers. You can't be a rapper and win on American Idol, nobody has done it. You have to be a singer, that's what it is. It was either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. At the time before we made that, she wasn't making those songs that symbolize who the people think she is. That's the conversation I had with her."

Tags: mariah_carey
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