Album: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009)
Charted: 52 7
Play Video


  • This was the first single released from Mariah Carey's 12th studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Carey told the world via her Twitter account: "The 1st single from my new album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is called 'Obsessed' and will be at radio next Tuesday. I'm a lil' exc" (the post cut off before she continued in another tweet). "Seriously, this is one of my favorite songs ever. I love the whole album. I'm completely immersed in it. I can't wait for you to hear it."
  • The song debuted on Chicago's B96 radio on the 16th June 2009.
  • This was produced by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart ("Umbrella"). The duo helmed most of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.
  • Auto-Tune was used to provide a slight electronic manipulation to Carey's voice. The singer previously utilized the device on her 2008 T-Pain duet "Migrate."
  • Some reviewers have queried if this song targets the rapper Eminem, who has long claimed that he and Carey once had a relationship, something Mariah has always denied. Eminem taunted Carey and her husband Nick Cannon on "Bagpipes From Baghdad," a track on his Relapse album and it appears this is the singer's reply. The Dream said in an interview with HipHopDX.com prior to its release, that the song is "going to light the blogs up too because you don't know who she talking about, but she's talking about something. And remember The-Dream told you first. So you can start that up right now. Mariah Carey has a record, and somebody's going to be very upset. I said that."
  • Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls wrote on her Twitter on hearing this song: "Btw I love mariahs new song! Tell them liars what's up. Delusional is a good word to describe some of these lames."
  • A re-mix was recorded, featuring the Atlanta-raised rapper Gucci Mane. Gucci told MTV News that 50 Cent's manager, Chris Lighty, orchestrated his guest appearance. He added: "The song came out hard. Mariah knew I wanted to do a song with her. It finally happened, and it turned out hard. I just flew up there to New York, went in the studio with her. I flew right out and went back on the road. When I do a song with people, I like to really get in the studio with them so I could feel they swag and they could feel mine. The music comes out better."
  • The music video was helmed by Rush Hour director Brett Ratner. Some scenes were shot at the Plaza Hotel in New York and Carey played both the stalked celebrity and her stalker. In the latter part she dresses as a man in a way that sort of resembles Eminem.
  • Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, told MTV News that rather than being an Eminem diss, the main inspiration for the song was a Lindsay Lohan movie. He said: "To be completely honest, she did the record 'cause she's a huge fan of this movie Mean Girls, and there's a line in the movie where one of the girls is like, 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' She says that at the beginning of the song, and that's where the concept came from. But you know, art imitates life."
  • The video's director, Brett Ratner, who has worked with Carey on many of her promos including "Touch My Body," originally wanted the stalker character to be played by Ellen DeGeneres. However, he denied that the clip is a poke at Eminem. He told MTV News: "It's not about Eminem - we weren't like, 'Let's find an Eminem look-alike.' We weren't talking to any Eminem [look-alikes]. I guess it's a good rumor, but I don't think it's true. I don't really know. I never asked her, but then when I recommended Ellen, that's where she got the idea."

    Ratner added that the look Carey's stalker character sports in the video was devised simply as a way to hide Mariah's lady assets. He explained: "Mariah never talked to me about that. You know, Mariah... she's like the most feminine girl you can imagine, so the more I covered up the less work I had to do on the transitions of changing back and forth. I kind of told the wardrobe guy, 'Let's bulk her up with layers and stuff' - first of all, to hide her breasts, because they're prominent, and to kind of make her more boyish. A b-boy made sense."
  • Ratner told MTV News that the video was principally inspired by two films. He explained: "It was inspired by a movie that I love called The King of Comedy, when Sandra Bernhard was stalking Jerry Lewis - and that's why I wanted to move it to New York. Mariah loves Mean Girls. I think it's funny [when the stalker gets hit with the bus like in the film]."
  • This song won the Worst Track of the Year award at the Virgin Media Music Awards 2010.
  • When this was played on Top 40 radio, the line, "it must be the weed, it must be the E" was edited. Instead of the two drug names, the listener would hear garbled sound effects.
  • When Mariah Carey was recording the song, it was obvious she had somebody specific in mind, but at the time The-Dream didn't know who. He told Genius:

    "I didn't find out she was talking about Eminem until she made the video. These are personal songs I have to write. I've been lucky to have a good imagination, or good enough to say something that strikes a chord. And then they say, 'Wow, you wrote that as if you knew exactly what I meant.' But everybody's usually going through the same s--t with somebody. So to me, I was just writing my own s--t, or what I'd think if I were you in your shoes. I've almost become a therapist now."
  • Memoirs Of A Perfect Angel peaked at #3 on the US albums chart. It was the first time she missed the top spot since 2002's Charmbracelet also landed at #3. Memoirs did, however, hit #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Comments: 3

  • Brianne from New Waterford, Ohthis song is amazing!!! but just remember once you send out a warning to someone, that other person can sure hit back..
  • Bryan from St. Louis, MoGreat song, but Eminem gets her back a lot worse in "The Warning"
  • Gunnernkosa from Kampala, UgandaI think Mariah nailed it in this song!!! She really hit Eminem hard, beating him at his own game. Eminem is vulgar, but she showed him that some one can be subtle and still diss..... Love this song!!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Taylor Dayne

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.

Brenda Russell

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

Harry Wayne Casey of KC and The Sunshine Band

Harry Wayne Casey of KC and The Sunshine BandSongwriter Interviews

Harry Wayne Casey tells the stories behind KC and The Sunshine Band hits like "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way (I Like It)," and "Give It Up."

David Bowie Lyrics Quiz

David Bowie Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

How well do you know your David Bowie lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.

Grunge Bands Quiz

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.