I Don't
by Mariah Carey (featuring YG)

Album: single release only (2017)
Charted: 89
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Mariah Carey first teased this heartbroken breakup ballad on the January 29, 2017 Mariah's World season finale. The song touches on a love turned sour and broken trust:

    Cause when you love someone
    You just don't treat them bad
    You messed up all we had
    Probably think I'm coming back
    But I don't, I don't
  • The sultry send-off was reportedly written and recorded in the wake of Carey breaking up with billionaire ex-fiancé James Packer. Discussing her split from the Australian businessman during the episode, Mariah explained,

    "Ever since the tour wrapped I took some time just to process my feelings, and I started writing a song to express what I've been going through. And if you're not getting the love that you need from someone that you're supposed to be in a real relationship with, then why remain in that situation?"
  • The emotional ballad is a collaboration with LA based rapper YG. He supplies rhymes towards the end of the song, taking the role of Carey's ex.
  • The song features production from longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri. The producer helped revive Carey's career with his work on her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi.
  • Jermaine Dupri and co-producer Bryan-Michael Cox borrowed a snippet of the vocals from Donell Jones' 1999 R&B hit tune "Where I Wanna Be." The "Sweet little dee-do-dee-dee" sample can be heard throughout the song.
  • Mariah Carey recalled the story of the song to Billboard magazine:

    "[Jermaine Dupri] had the track with the Donell Jones riff on it for a while and we were writing some other songs. We actually were in Italy working on different tracks, just kind of playing around in the studio and then he was just like, 'I have this track that I really want you to hear,' and I was just blowing it off because I was more into doing something brand-new.

    And then we got back to, I think we were in L.A., and [songwriter] Crystal Nicole was there, who I worked with for 'Touch My Body' and we started listening to the beat [for 'I Don't']. We heard it and loved it and sat down and wrote a verse and the melodies together."
  • The music video depicts a desolate Carey wearing a bridal gown only to eventually throw it into a fire pit. The singer directed the clip herself and executive-produced it with her manager, Stella Bulochnikov. She told Billboard magazine about the visual's rushed production.

    "It was a day later after we did the song. We had to put it together really quickly. There wasn't really one story line, it was just the breaking up of a, whatever you want to call it, relationship and it kind of fit with the lyrics."

    Carey adding that setting fire to a wedding dress was an idea that had been in the works for years. "I've always wanted to burn a wedding dress in a video," she said "so we took this opportunity to do that 'cause in the 'We Belong Together' video (in 2005), I told (director) Brett Ratner in post (production), I wanted to burn the train of the wedding dress, which was actually the real wedding dress that I wore in one of my many endeavours into marriage. He wouldn't light the train up, so I was like, 'You know what? I'm gonna do this myself.'"
  • Speaking to ET Online, Carey said the song isn't just about her failed engagement to James Packer but was written as a tribute to all of her exes. "People probably think that song is about one person," she explained, "And I was thinking about it the other night and I said, 'You know, this is applicable to so many different people that have been in my life.'"

    "To me, it's (I Don't) not (about one person), because I think that's the reason other people can relate to it, and people are starting to say, 'Oh its like a breakup anthem,'" she added. "I think people can just relate to it on that level."
  • A remix was released featuring Remy Ma. Carey's choice of collaborator was an opportunity to throw some shade at Nicki Minaj, with whom she's been beefing since the Pop Queen mentioned on American Idol that Minaj has a distinct lack of #1 hits. (Ma have been exchanging disses with Minaj ever since the Queen Barbz badmouthed her on the song "Make Love.")

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