Eighth grade was a very tumultuous year for me, dah-ling
- Mariah Carey
Written by Mariah Carey, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, Angel Lopez, Frederico Vindver, Lawrence Dopson & Jason Boyd
Produced by Mariah Carey & Timbaland
ABOUT THE SONG
Rob Markman: “8th Grade” is a dope song. When I saw it on the track listing, I’m like, “What is this about?,” “8th Grade.” And you have this lyric, you sing, “Something is telling me you’re ready, am I wrong? Maybe the lyrics are too heavy in my song.”
MC: “How would you feel if you had me then I was gone?,“ yeah. Well, eighth grade was a very tumultuous year for me, dah-ling. You know, I dyed my hair orange the year before and I was trying grow it out, but with the texture(?), it just takes a while… it just wasn’t good. But that feeling of insecurity and being, like, you know, melancholy about things, that was why I just made a rough title, when it got written, it was called “8th Grade (Rough),” and then we just took the ‘rough’ away. We were like should we keep it “8th Grade (Rough)” or just call it “8th Grade”? So it’s “8th Grade,” because at that moment in time there’s a certain feeling that you just can’t manufacture that, it’s like when you’re growing up and it feels like the world is going to come to an end if the person that you have feelings for doesn’t feel that same way, and that’s what that song is about.
Genius “Genius Level Mariah Carey”, with Rob Markman, November 14, 2018
Pitchfork: A lot of your songs have a childlike quality to them, including “8th Grade” on this new album. Why do you always go back there?
Mariah Carey: That’s not a happy song. Eighth grade was one of the lowest points of my life. The year before, I had dyed my hair orange by mistake. I shaved my eyebrows. I had no clothes. Somebody once said in the hallway to me at school, “Oh, she got three shirts in rotation.” It was mortifying. But that’s because my mom chose to live in predominantly white neighborhoods, where people had more money than us, and I didn’t fit in there. Or in an all black neighborhood when my parents were together; as a mixed couple, they had problems there. So there was not one safe place. But eighth grade was also me being like, “Oh, my gosh, I like this kid, and he doesn’t like me. That’s the end of the world!” You know that feeling. When we were writing that song, I just had this melancholy thing in me, and it still felt young. I just know what I felt like.
Pitchfork “Forever Mariah: An Interview With an Icon” by Alex Frank, November 28, 2018
2018.11.16 Released on the Caution album.