I was going to call it ‘Crybaby/Insomniac’ and I should have, because that's my theme song
- Mariah Carey
Written by Mariah Carey, Cordozar Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus, Jr., Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall, Timmy Gatling & Gene Griffin
Produced by Mariah Carey & Damizza
Samples “Piece of My Love” by Guy
5:22 Album Version featuring Snoop Dogg
4:35 Radio Edit
ABOUT THE SONG
When Carey invited Snoop Dogg to appear on "Rainbow," she warned him that he would have to watch his language. "Don't worry, MC," Carey says, imitating Snoop's gravelly bark. "I'm trying to stay on the radio this year." She laughs when she tells the story, but it's clear that she's mindful of her censors.
Notorious for her poor sleeping habits, she says she almost called one of the songs on the album "Insomniac." The song, now called "Crybaby," is about being kept up by a broken heart, but Carey says she also worries a lot about work. "I'm at the helm of my career," she says. "I have great people helping me, but certain things no one can deal with but me.”
Newsweek "Mariah On Fire" by Veronica Chambers - November 14, 1999
Craig Seymour: Talk about “Crybaby,” ‘cause that's a really interesting song.
MC: One of my favorite songs on the album, definitely. What did you think of it?
CS: I love it. I think that’s one’s great. But, um, I think it's really interesting in that, I mean that, I’m just trying to be economical and ask you questions. When you talk about, I think it's really interesting, when you talk about you know, hearing the song on the radio, and then not being able, and that seemed like a really really moment.
MC: That whole song is very real. I was going to call it “Crybaby/Insomniac” and I should have, because that's my theme song. And everybody who knows me laughs when I say, "I gotta get me some sleep,” ‘cause the whole thing is like, “I don't get no sleep, I’m up all week,” and so they laugh at that because it’s very true to life. And even when I say, “on my tippy toes,” ‘cause when I walk around without heels on, ‘cause I’m always in heels - even when I was little - I always walked on my tippy toes like this, and I don’t know why, but babysitters used to laugh at me, but I always walked like a Barbie, like on my tippy toes, I don't know why, there’s really no reason, but I just naturally do that.
CS: How does it feel in that you know, you write all your own stuff, so you put your heart into that stuff and it obviously represents a moment in time. So then…
MC: Right. Then it gets interpreted as…
CS: Then you have to live with it being part of popular consciousness. You can’t, you may move on in your life, but you can’t move past it… Then that’s a part of everybody's life then, so you can’t move away from that, you know what I mean?
MC: Right, well you could say the same thing about “The Roof.” “The Roof” was an actual documenting, documentation of one specific thing that could be interpreted in many ways, you know? So I feel like I wrote that song and… I love “Crybaby.” [cut off]
Since debuting in the mid-'80s as a producer for Heavy D & The Boyz, Al B. Sure, and Kool Moe Dee, super-producer Teddy Riley has pioneered a new wave of hip-hop-meets-R&B. Riley is no stranger to sampling other people's music. Now his music is being sampled. Pop diva Mariah Carey uses the Riley-produced Guy classic "Piece Of My Love" as a sample on the track "Cry Baby" (featuring Snoop Dogg) from her latest chart-topper, Rainbow. During a recent interview with Riley, he expressed his feelings about being sampled by Carey. "It feels good, because she called me straight," he told Launch. "She didn't go through the publishing companies, and we tried to make it possible for her to get it. And now it's done, and it's an honor. I mean, so many people want to sample my records, but I'm not really ready to do that right now.”
Launch/Yahoo Music “Super-Producer Teddy Riley,” December 3, 1999
Q: Is there a song from one of your previous albums that you most embrace?
MC: There are the songs that were the hits that I love and there were some songs that were never released that many people may not necessarily know like "Underneath The Stars", "Crybaby" (with Snoop), "The Roof" from the Butterfly album, "Babydoll" was another favorite, "Vanishing" from my first album is one that I still love. It's hard to narrow it down because they all represent something different for me - the more personal ones represent a certain era in my life and the fun songs represent, well, you know... fun!
FMQB Magazine “The Emancipation of… MARIAH" April 2005
A case of the ex mixed with insomnia and Bailey's Irish Cream inspired Mariah's tear-jerking collaboration with Snoop. "Crybaby" was rolled out as a double A-Side (remember those?) with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" and first appeared on Mimi's 1999 effort Rainbow.
Damizza (producer): I had submitted a bunch of tracks she didn't really like, but you can't always win. I was sitting there with my writing partner, and “Piece of My Love” by Guy came on. That bass line! I ran over to the Beverly Hills Hotel where Mariah was staying, played it and she went, “Oh my God, I love it, get Snoop Dogg on it."
I had to FedEx the track the next day, or it wouldn’t make the album. I was like, “You want me to get Snoop Dogg, get this song together and get mixed, mastered, everything, in one day?”
I called Snoop Dogg, and he was like, “I got this thing going on and I can't leave the house -- you'll have to come to the house to do it.” I was like, “OK, I guess I'm gonna drive out to Snoop's house.” He had a studio. We got there, and Snoop said, “This is friggin’ amazing, I'm ready let's go in booth.”
My favorite thing that Mariah does is to go low, middle and high -- it sounds like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. So I was thinking about the vocals for the song, and I was thinking of “Breakdown,” and I said, “Yo, can we do this little thing [layer your vocals]? That's all I'm going to request.” I had left to do the Snoop thing and she layered it herself, just like you hear on the song. We friggin' got it all done, edited everything, and on the next day it was sent.
The song is really about a situation -- she literally was walking around on the tippy toes, thinking about an old situation. The thing about her is that her writing is so prolific, but it's so fucking personal. It's really her, and that's what's the fucking scary as shit.
She is the best of all time, she just is, and you can't deny it. She's the baddest to ever walk the earth. She writes her own stuff, she produces her own stuff...That's a real cat.
Billboard: April 12, 2016 “We Belong Together: Mariah Carey's Collaborators Share Untold Stories Behind 8 Classics” by Natalie Weiner and Adelle Platon
1999 Released on the Rainbow album.
2003 Included on The Remixes compilation.