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Crybaby (Mariah Carey song)

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Single by Mariah Carey featuring Snoop Dogg
from the album Rainbow
A-side"Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)"
ReleasedApril 17, 2000
RecordedJune 1999
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"Things That U Do"
"Crybaby" / "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)"
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"
Snoop Dogg singles chronology
"Chin Check"
"Story to Tell"
Music video
"Crybaby" on YouTube

"Crybaby" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey featuring American rapper Snoop Dogg. It was released on April 17, 2000 by Columbia Records as a double A-side with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)". It was written by Carey and Snoop Dogg, and produced by the former and Damizza for Carey's seventh studio album, Rainbow (1999). It serves as the album's third single. It features Snoop Dogg throughout the song's bridge and is built around a sample of the 1988 song "Piece of My Love," originally performed by Guy and written by Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall, Timmy Gatling and Gene Griffin. Throughout the song, the protagonist reveals the struggles of dealing with insomnia and thoughts of a past relationship during the night, as she spirals out of control and declares "I gotta get me some sleep."

The song was the center of a very public controversy between Carey and her label Sony Music Entertainment, due to their lack of promotion of it as a commercial single. It, alongside its A-side "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" were not eligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, due to the charts rules at the time of their release. Eventually, the song was able to attain a peak of twenty eight, Carey's first single to miss the top twenty. The song's music video features Carey spending a restless night in her apartment, throwing wine and cereal while trying to "get some sleep." Snoop Dogg makes an appearance in the video through a television monitor. Carey performed the song live during her Rainbow World Tour, in support of the album and its singles.

Background and composition


"Crybaby" was recorded during the summer of 1999 in Capri, Italy.[1] The song is composed in common time in the key of D minor and features instrumentation from the guitar and piano.[2] The song moves at a tempo of 79 beats per minute.[3] Carey's vocal range throughout the song ranges from the low note of B2 to the high note of F5. "Crybaby" features a rap verse from Snoop Dogg, and incorporates heavy usage of background vocals. The song's lyrics find the protagonist struggling with insomnia due to thoughts of a past lover throughout the night, not allowing her to sleep.[4] According to Carey, the song also has a more personal message, relating to the difficulty of getting rest with such a work-filled schedule.[1] She claimed that through writing, recording, and producing her music, as well as all the promotional appearances, it became increasingly difficult for her to unwind and sleep at night. At one point in the song, Carey sings "I gotta get me some sleep," before finishing the final chorus.[1]

The song was recorded very quickly in late June due to contractual obligations

In her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Carey revealed that the song's lyrics were inspired by the angst she felt after her 1997 romance with baseball star Derek Jeter abruptly ended.

Label dispute




Critical reception


Critical reviews for "Crybaby" were positive. Danyel Smith from Entertainment Weekly called the song "sexy" and wrote "[Snoop Dogg]'s words tumble like dice across her velvety vocals."[5] Editor from Rolling Stone, Arion Berger, also complimented "Crybaby," especially the way Snoop Dogg's verses blended with Carey's vocals. Berger called his rap verses "fittingly careless."[6] Robert Christgau, an editor from The Village Voice, commented that the song was "not real R&B thrush," but wrote "its good enough to fake it."[7] While reviewing Rainbow, Dara Cook from MTV wrote that "Mariah amazes," on the song also calling the collaboration "Snoop Dogg enhanced." Cook wrote further "Perhaps culled from remnant Derek Jeter-directed rage, a frenzied and fed-up Mariah aggravates herself into a soulful, improvisational tizzy."[8]

Commercial performance


"Crybaby" was released as the third single from Rainbow in 2000, as a double A-side with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)". "Can't Take That Away" was emphasized at Top 40 Mainstream radio stations and "Crybaby" at mainstream urban stations.[9] It was intended that the former would chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the latter would focus on the R&B charts.[10] The songs had very limited airplay, and because Billboard magazine rules at that time stipulated that the song from a double A-side with the most airplay (in this case, "Crybaby") would be credited only, "Crybaby" was eligible to chart.[9] Double A-sided singles were credited together on the charts until 1998, when the Hot 100 changed from a "singles" chart to a "songs" chart, and consequently every song was credited individually.[9] "Crybaby" did not appear on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.[10] It debuted on the Hot 100 at number 28 following its release as a commercial single, but its minimal airplay prevented it from climbing higher. It remained in the top forty for two weeks and on the chart for seven weeks, becoming Carey's first single to miss the US top twenty.[10]

Music video


The song's music video was directed by Sanaa Hamri, who also directed the video for "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)." Both videos were shot back to back, and were released simultaneously to music programs and channels for immediate circulation.[11] The video begins with Carey lying in her bed, as she receives a text message from Snoop Dogg reading "Yo what's happening? What you crying for? Now you know you look 2 damn good 2 be crying... Come here... Holla at a playa DPG style... Ya know," to which Carey responds "I can't sleep." As the video progresses as the lyrics continue, it appears to be 5 AM, and Carey is still unable to sleep. She lies in bed with the lamp on, pondering on thoughts of a past lover until she takes a bath. Afterwards, she makes her way to the kitchen, and begins pouring an abundant amount of cereal and milk into a bowl, spilling it over the counter in a restless rage. As the scene finishes, Snoop's face is seen on a small monitor, directing his verse to Carey in the video. As the last chorus plays, Carey becomes restless and tosses a champagne glass and bottle at a large window, shattering it and sending glass around the living room. The video ends with Carey lying down on the couch one more, attempting to sleep once more.[12]

Live performances


Carey performed "Crybaby" live during every show on the Rainbow World Tour.[citation needed] For the song's performances, the stage was set with a large bed, pillows and comforters, as well as a small desk and homely props. Carey, dressed in pajamas, sang while re-enacting segments of the video.[citation needed] During her performance at Madison Square Garden on April 11, 2000, she threw the audience small stuffed bears and completed the song while lying in the bed on stage. After the song's bridge, Snoop's pre-recorded verse was played over the background vocals.[citation needed] The song was also performed on select nights of The Elusive Chanteuse Show tour in 2014. The most recent performance of the song however, was on Carey Vegas residency, The Butterfly Returns.

Track listing and formats

  1. "Crybaby" (Radio Edit) – 4:31
  2. "Crybaby" (Album Version) – 5:19

Credits and personnel


Credits adapted from the Rainbow liner notes.[14]


Weekly chart performance for "Crybaby"
Chart (2000) Peak
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[15] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16]
with "Against All Odds"[17]
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[18]
with "Against All Odds"
UK Club (Music Week)[19]
with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)"
UK Urban Club (Music Week)[20]
with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)"
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 28
US Crossover (Billboard)[22] 39
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[23] 23
US CHR/Rhythmic (Radio & Records)[24] 40
US Urban (Radio & Records)[25] 31

Release history

Release dates and formats for "Crybaby"
Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
Canada April 17, 2000 CD maxi single
(with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)")
United States April 18, 2000 Rhythmic contemporary radio
June 6, 2000
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • cassette single
  • CD single
  • CD maxi single
    (with "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)")


  1. ^ a b c Shapiro 2001, pp. 121
  2. ^ Lorenz, Trey (August 4, 2014). "Mariah Carey "Crybaby" Sheet Music in F Major - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Crybaby - Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey - Spot On Track". www.spotontrack.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "Mariah Carey – Crybaby – Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Alfred Publishing. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  5. ^ Smith, Danyel (November 12, 1999). "Mariah Carey – Rainbow". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Time Warner. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  6. ^ Berger, Arion (November 25, 1999). "Mariah Carey Rainbow". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Limited Liability Company. Archived from the original on January 25, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (1998). "Robert Christgau: CG: Mariah Carey". RobertChristgau.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Cook, Dara (October 31, 1999). "Mariah Carey – Rainbow". MTV Networks Asia Pacific. MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Pietroluongo, Silvio (June 24, 2000). "Hot 100 Spotlight". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on January 15, 2023. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "Hot 100 spotlight". Google books. June 24, 2000. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  11. ^ Shapiro 2001, pp. 133–134
  12. ^ Mariah Carey - Crybaby (Video) ft. Snoop Dogg on YouTube
  13. ^ Crybaby (US CD Single liner notes). Mariah Carey. Columbia Records. 2000. CSK 12714.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ Carey, Mariah (1999). Rainbow (Liner Notes) (Compact Disc). Mariah Carey. New York City, New York: Columbia Records.
  15. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Vol. 112, no. 28. July 8, 2000. p. 46. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  16. ^ "Mariah Carey – Against All Odds" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  17. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 112, no. 28. July 8, 2000. p. 46. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 29, 2000" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Club Chart Top 40". Music Week. July 8, 2000. p. 17.
  20. ^ "Urban Top 20". Music Week. July 8, 2000. p. 17.
  21. ^ "Mariah Carey Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  22. ^ "Crossover Airplay". Top 40 Airplay Monitor. May 19, 2000. p. 34.
  23. ^ "Mariah Carey Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  24. ^ "CHR/Rhythmic Top 50". Radio & Records. May 19, 2000. p. 52. ProQuest 1017357714.
  25. ^ "Urban Top 50". Radio & Records. June 2, 2000. p. 61. ProQuest 1017343363.
  26. ^ "Mariah Carey". Sony Music Canada. Archived from the original on November 27, 2003. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  27. ^ "CHR/Rhythmic Going for Adds 4/18/2000". Radio & Records. April 14, 2000. p. 48. ProQuest 1017349679.
  28. ^ "Mariah Carey: "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" (Single)". Sony Music Store. Archived from the original on September 29, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  29. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. June 24, 2000. p. 124. ProQuest 1506058596.

Further reading