Carey collaborated with producer Rodney Jerkins for this song. The New Jersey native is best known for his work with Brandy, including her hit duet with Monica, "The Boy Is Mine
Carey told MTV News that the song title shouldn't be taken literally. "I don't think I've mastered the art of letting of go," she said. "I think the art of letting go is something that will probably take most people a lifetime to master, so the song can be interpreted however [fans like]. It's one of those things where people are gonna have to feel the song, if they feel it...then they're really gonna feel it in their heart."
Mariah Carey debuted the song during a Facebook listening party on November 11, 2013. It was the singer's frequent collaborator and friend Jermaine Dupri who encouraged her to release the tune via the online social networking service, in an effort to speak directly to her fans. He told MTV News: "The Internet has made the world flat, so when you have a person like Mariah whose fanbase goes from here to other end of the world, why not share [the music] with everyone at once?"
The heartfelt ballad finds Carey singing about how letting go on an ex-lover wasn't easy, but after doing so she feels free. "This is such a personal record to me," the songstress shared on her Facebook page. "I wrote the lyrics so that anyone and everyone could relate to them and hopefully release anything that they need to let go of that's holding them back or bringing them down."
The wrong version of this song was premiered online. A "very upset" Carey blamed the mistake on a new sound engineer, "whose only task was to press the space bar and upload the song to Facebook."
Carey told Mashable
that fans should pay close attention to the second verse, where she tells her lying man to delete her number from his phone. "They have to listen very closely to the lyrics, especially the last two lines of the second verse," she explained. "I would like to have people apply that to their lives in any way they see fit. And that's why I wrote it. It was an organic moment that happened to also be timely and very real. There couldn't be a more real moment in my life for that line on this actual day - for reasons we won't get into. But to sum it up, it's about helping someone else get through their moment, while I'm getting through mine as the writer and the performer."
Carey originally called the album The Art Of Letting Go after this song, which was released as the second single. Instead, she titled it Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, inspired by a caption she wrote on a childhood self-portrait ("Me. I Am Mariah") and a recently adopted nickname ("The Elusive Chanteuse"). "This album is a reflection of some of the peaks and valleys that made me who I am today," Carey told US Magazine. "I've always known me. I am Mariah."