The-Dream told DJ Jojo Wright of the LA radio station KIIS-FM the story of how he hooked up with Carey for this song. He explained: "I was at Legacy Studios in New York and I started the chords on a keyboard and I was like, '[hums] Okay, this is gonna be pretty good.' Nobody knows my process. This is how it goes. Usually I start a track, I put a kick on it and a snare, then it's really simple that in the beginning stages and I just go into the booth because it actually comes from what I already have in my head as far as the hook that I may hear. So I walk into the booth and the engineer's there, we start it off and I'm like, [sings] 'Tell me what they know about my love, this would be a great record for Mariah Carey to be on.' Little did I know, it was like 50 people in the studio at that particular time that I invited to kind of like just kick it in and just chill out while I was writing.
One of the girls was Constance from Billboard
magazine online. She writes for them. So she calls me the next morning and she's like, 'Yeah, I heard all the stuff that you was doin'. I heard the Kelly's 12 Flavor record,' and this and that, and that the record, 'Is that supposed to be a record with you and Mariah?' I was like, 'Yeah, I already got Mariah on that. Mariah's on that,' So she printed it, like, the same day [laughs]. Mariah hadn't even heard it. Mariah hadn't even heard it! So I just found out last night Mariah was like, 'Yeah, Nick (Cannon) brought me this' and he was like, 'You did a record with Dream?' She's like, 'I don't think so.'
So this is crazy. L.A. Reid was calling me, the Chairman and CEO of Def Jam, calling me like, 'Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? Are you on drugs?' And I had to think about that, then I was like, 'No, I'm not on drugs.' I was being very optimistic, you know. I was thinking so positive and if it didn't happen for me, nobody would care anyway. It's more that it did happen. So it did end up happening and now she's on my record and everybody was like, 'How did you do that?' 'cause she hadn't done a duet since Bone Thugs-N-Harmony."
I went to Def Jam and Karen Kwak is a great friend of mine. She's the president basically up on the L.A. Reid and she's the one that brought 'Umbrella
' in and I went up to the building acting like a big kid. I was like, 'I ain't writing no record for nobody else if Mariah don't get on this record. Period.' And so L.A. looked at her like, 'Go get them, Tiger.'" (Source: Mariah Daily)