[Missy's] lyrical sense is different from someone who's just a singer
- Mariah Carey
Music by Mariah Carey, Cory Rooney & Stevie J
Lyrics by Mariah Carey & Missy Elliott
Produced by Mariah Carey & Cory Rooney
5:07 Album Version
ABOUT THE SONG
“When I worked with Missy it was funny, because she wanted to put a line in that was like 'something beeping me 911, and I'll come quicker than the cops.' I like that lyric, but for my song, it doesn't work. So I tapered what she was doing, and she'd be like, 'Mariah, come on, you don't have to think about it so hard. Just write it. This sounds good.' But I'm like, 'You don't understand. I get really criticized about this.' People are gonna be like, 'Who the hell does she think she is. Beep me 911.' But I can't get out of control and act like I'm suddenly somebody I'm not, but I've always been into urban music. I grew up in New York, listening to New York radio, and it continues to influence me and it always will." - MTV News: September 17, 1997
"Missy (Elliott) to me is on the cutting edge of where R&B is going today," enthused Mariah, when brought up the collaboration for "Babydoll." "I think because she's a rapper her lyrical sense is different from someone who's just a singer and a writer. She uses references only a rapper would use. The first time I heard her was on that MC Lyte Record ("Cold Rock A Party") when she was doing that "Hee hee ha" thing she does. I loved it and I asked who was singing in the background (Mariah sings) and I found out it was her. I was intrigued by that and then I found out she wrote "If Your Girl Only Knew" (Mariah sings again) for Aaliyah, so I got the Aaliyah album and heard everything I liked was Missy. So I called her and went to Virginia. I already had the idea for the chorus of "Babydoll" and I asked Missy what melody ideas she had for the verses, which I never usually do but I wanted her flavour. So she came up with that skipping, choppy approach.
"We wrote that in a hotel room in Virginia and she was already hung over from a Timbaland birthday party the night before," laughed Mariah huskily, "and I should have controlled the amount of Cristal that I gave her because I kind of lost her half way through the session! She's just cool. Really talented. I think we complemented each other musically, because her philosophy to writing is just write it and not to be obsessive over it. For me, though I have people scrutinize what I do. She had one line, 'You can beep me 911 and I'll come running quick as the cops' and I told her that I didn't think that particular line was working too well for my particular song. That's how we came up with 'I'm gonna leave my cellphone turned on in my purse by the bed' line, which is lke what? on a Mariah Carey record. It's kind of a reality song of what people go through when they're waiting for that special someone to call.” - Blues & Soul (UK) Issue: September 23, 1997 “Butterfly kisses,,, or in bed with Mariah!” by Jeff Lorez
Missy on Mariah: “Mariah, she listens to rap. She’s straight up just cool.” …”We can’t be cursing and all on the record, she’s still Mariah. You’ve got to be careful not to change too much.” - Entertainment Weekly Issue 398 – Sept 26, 1997 Degen Pener
I wrote that with Missy Elliott and I really wanted to work with her because she's on the cutting edge of R&B. We wrote it in a hotel room we were drinking champagne and she fell asleep during the writing session, so I had to finish it alone! - TV Hits (Australian Magazine) October 1997
“It’s a song called ‘Babydoll,’” she says of her collaborative effort with Missy. “I had the hook already, as well as a melody and lyric for the chorus. Then she and I collaborated on a new melody for the verses, and we did the first verse (before Supa Dupa Fly came out), and the second half of the second verse together after hearing “all the Aaliyah stuff.” Recalling the fact that she actually went to Missy and Timbaland’s native Virginia to record it, Carey admits, “I had a good time working with Missy, and you can definitely tell that her flavor comes through on this song.” Though she and Corey Rooney, her good friend and Executive Vice President of Black Music at Crave Records produced the version that exists, she anticipates Timbaland’s schedule to permit his final production, or at least a remix. “I like his sound and the little things he uses,” Carey states. - Black Beat, December 1997 “Honey-voiced Mariah breaks loose! But Being A Superstar Ain't Always Easy” by Rudi M
CAREY: The really cool thing about Missy is that she’s just so down to earth. She's like, "Okay, let's get together and work." We went into the hotel room and wrote the song, had a little champagne -- that's where some of the lyrics were inspired by -- but um...
SOREN: So, the "between the sheets" lyrics you’re blaming on her.
CAREY: Well, we were in a hotel room and we were looking at the bed. I mean, we were sitting on the couch. Whatever. I like to leave my lyrics open so that the fans can apply...
SOREN: Right. Okay. Right. Interpret them themselves. Right.
CAREY: Exactly. You've heard that one before?
SOREN: Yeah, I have. - MTV UNPLUGGED Interview with Tabitha Soren 1997
Babydoll teamed Mariah with yet another writing partner, Missy Elliot. “I had the hook already,” Mariah explained, “as well as a melody and lyric for the chorus. Then she and I collaborated on a new melody for the verses, and we did the first verse and the second half of the second verse together.” Unlike much of the album which was recorded in New York at Mariah’s Crave Studios or The Hit Factory, or even at WallyWorld in California, Walter’s home base, much of Babydoll came together in Atlanta, where Missy lived. This had a bonus, since it helped reunite Mariah with an old friend who lived there - Trey Lorenz, who added to the background vocals. Babydoll was a vocally driven piece, as sensuous as Mariah was likely to get, with a sparse arrangement kicked along by some inventive drum programming by Cory Rooney. - Mariah Carey: Revisited Page 333 by Chris Nickson
1997 Released on the Butterfly album.
2000 Included on the Valentines EP.