Mariah Carey’s “Rainbow”

Released: November 2, 1999

Label: Columbia

Genre: Pop • R&B • hip hop

Producer: Mariah Carey • Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis • James Wright • David Foster • Jermaine Dupri • Bryan-Michael Cox • DJ Clue • Steve Mac


By 1999, Mariah Carey was an international superstar. With thirteen number one hits under her belt, Mariah was a legend in the making only 9 years into her professional career. Also, she was in her R&B bag these days after the releases of Daydream & Butterfly, which pushed her further into the R&B/Hip Hop mainstream scenes.

Mariah’s seventh studio album Rainbow was released on November 2, 1999, fulfilling her contract with Columbia Records. A mixture of hip-hop influenced R&B jams and slow ballads, Rainbow furthered Mariah’s transition to the urban market. Featuring collaborations with Usher, Jay-Z, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Joe, 98 degrees, Mystikal & Master P, Rainbow is filled with tunes that are immaculate and timeless, but can we expect any less from the Queen?!

Mariah is at her best on Rainbow, and usually doesn’t get the praise and accolades it deserves out of her albums. Rainbow was played in heavy rotation when I was older enough to appreciate her catalog. It is a true masterpiece and needs its flowers as well.

Rainbow received positive reviews from critics, and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot R&B album & Billboard 200 charts with 323,000 copies sold first week. It was her first album since 1994’s Merry Christmas that did not reach number one. The RIAA certified the album 3x platinum within a MONTH of its release. I just wish Mariah would update her album certifications through the RIAA, it is probably more platinum by now! Nevertheless, the album has sold over 8 million copies worldwide, and continued Mariah’s stature as one of the biggest musicians in the world.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you: Mariah Carey’s Rainbow.

Heartbreaker featuring Jay-Z

Written by Mariah Carey, Shawn Carter, Shirley Elliston, Lincoln Chase, Michael Walden & Jeffrey Cohen

Heartbreaker kicks off the album and further continues the formula that 1997’s Butterfly pushed. The song was originally planned to be on the soundtrack to her film soundtrack “Glitter,” but when it continuing to be further delayed, it was pushed to the Rainbow album. From a lyrical standpoint, Heartbreaker is basically about how the singer keeps going back to the lover that breaks her heart constantly and always cheats on her.

The song became Mariah’s fourteenth number one record in the United States, furthering her lead as the sole artist who is a woman, that has accomplished such a feat after Elvis Presley (whom she surpassed 9 years later with 2008’s Touch My Body) & The Beatles. The song contains a sample of Stacy Lattisaw’s Attack of the Name Game.

Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme)

Written by Mariah Carey & Diane Warren

Whenever I’m feeling down about myself, I go to listen to Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme), A song of inner strength and not allowing others to tear you down and redirect you from your dreams. Mariah has stated that the song has gotta her through tough emotional moments during the early stages of the album, where she was being pressure to complete it. Also, she said she wrote it to be an anthem for fans who were also going through difficult times in their life and find some type of relation to it.

I resonated so well with this song because I’ve been told by people I thought I loved that I’ll never accomplish this or that. That I will not prosper or anything. Mariah & powerhouse songwriter Diane Warren worked with the iconic producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and made a true classic.

“Mariah’s Theme” was released as the third single and a double A-side with the song Crybaby. The song was in the middle of a feud that Mariah had with the Columbia label where she felt they were interested in making a more up-beat and urban track the next singles, where this song is a slow R&B ballad. It was giving a limited commercial release, where in the United States, it only peaked at number six on the Billboard Dance Club Songs charts.


Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III, Terry Lewis & James Wright

Bliss is a SONGGGGGGGG okay!! Mariah channels her inner Minnie Riperton & utilizes her whistle register throughout the amazing record. I just put y’all on to one of the best bedroom tunes you can ever have. You’re welcome!

How Much featuring Usher

Written by Mariah Carey, Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri, Tupac Shakur, Darryl Harper, Tyrone Wrice & Ricky Rouse

How Much is a nice little bop that features Usher! The song contains an interpolation of Tupac’s Me & My Girlfriend.

After Tonight

Written by Mariah Carey, Diane Warren & David Foster

After Tonight is My All’s baby. Lyrically, the song is about the artist developing feelings for someone they’re dating. & she wonders if he will still love her “after tonight.” *hits drum.*


Written by Mariah Carey, Kandi Burruss & Kevin Briggs

X-Girlfriend is a cute girl! Written by Mariah, Xscape member Kandi Burruss & Kevin Briggs, the song is about that ex girlfriend who always has to insert herself in her former man’s life and it is pathetic to say the least! we have all met those type of people.

Heartbreaker (remix) featuring Da Brat & Missy Elliott

Written by Mariah Carey, Shawntae Harris, Missy Elliott, Ricardo Brown, Calvin Broadus, Warren Griffin III, Andre Young & Nathaniel Hale

Y’all should know by now that Mariah is the QUEEN of remixes…well the desert storm remix featuring Da Brat, and Missy Elliott, who co-wrote a song on Mariah’s previous album titled Babydoll. This specific remix was described as a girl-power answer to the original. It also contains lyrical interpolations and samples Snoop Dogg’s Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None). Another remix of the song that I love is a mashup of Heartbreaker & Diana Ross’ 1976 hit Love Hangover that she performed at VH1 Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross.

Vulnerability (Interlude)

Written by Mariah Carey


Oh, why? (Oh, why?)


Woo-hoo, ooh

I should have known

That you’d

(Right from the start)

That you’d

Go and break

Knowing I was

(My heart)

Knowing I was

So vulnerable


-Mariah Carey

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)

Written by Phil Collins

Mariah’s cover of Phil Collins 1984′ hit record Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) is one of my highlights on the album for sure. If Mariah is going to cover a song, you know she’s going to do it RIGHT!!!!! 🗣A version with the Irish band Westlife was a huge hit in the UK, peaking at number one on the UK Singles chart.

Crybaby featuring Snoop Dogg

Written by Mariah Carey, Howie Hersh, Calvin Broadus, Trey Lorenz, Timothy Gatlin, Gene Griffin, Aaron Hall III & Teddy Riley

Crybaby was another single affected by the feud between the label and Mariah, but it is honestly another highlight of the album. From a lyrical standpoint, the song speaks of the insomnia the singer suffers from due to the heavy thinking about a former lover.

Mariah has also stated that the song was written on a personal level due to the pressures of the label pushing her to release this album, and that all of the writing, producing, promotional appearances made it difficult to unwind and sleep at night.

Mariah also revealed in her memoir that lyrics from the album were also inspired how her relationship with Derek Jeter abruptly ended. The song peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, being her first single to miss the top twenty due to the charts rules at the time. Crybaby contains an interpolation of Toto’s Georgy Porgy & a sample of Guy’s Piece of My Love.

Did I Do That?

Written by Mariah Carey, Craig Bazile, Tracey Waples, Joseph Smokey Johnson, Vyshonne Miller & Wardell Joseph Quezergue

Did I Do That is definitely a shady Mariah record lmao!! It is built around a sample of It Ain’t My Fault 2 by Silkk the Shocker & Mystikal.


Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III, Terry Lewis & James Wright

A boy and a girl befriended me.

We’re bonded through despondency

..I stayed so long but finally, I fled to save my sanity.

-Mariah Carey

Petals is a song that hits home for me for sure. The song describes Mariah’s relationship with her older sister Allison, whom she had a fallen out with prior to the album’s recording. She also touches on the horrific marriage with Tommy Mottola as well. You can feel the pain that Mariah has endured in this song.

We’ve all been there. We’ve wanted find the absolute comfort with our family, and sometimes you really do not find it there. So you try to find it in other outlets, and that is even you have to leave to try save yourself period. That’s what I pretty much get from Petals. s/n: I always loved the Rosie O’Donnell performance of Petals.

Rainbow (Interlude)

Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III & Terry Lewis

I know there is a rainbow

for me to follow..

To get beyond my sorrow..

Thunder precedes the sunlight.

So I’ll be alright, if I can find that rainbow’s end…

-Mariah Carey

Thank God I Found You featuring Joe & 98 Degrees

Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III & Terry Lewis

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, my baby…I’m so thankful I found you.

-Mariah Carey

The album closes with the beautiful Thank God I Found You. The gospel & R&B influenced record tells the story of an amazing love affair. This song became Mariah’s 15th number one hit single, and her eleventh consecutive year with a number one hit. It also became her last number one until 2005’s We Belong Together. I love the (Make It Last) Remix that she released with Joe & Nas. That was a moment!

Mariah Carey has gone on to truly become one of music’s greatest treasures. Rainbow is one of my favorite Mariah albums because most of the tunes resonate with me so much.

Rainbow often gets overlooked compared to her more known works, but the lambily knows that this is one of her best works. Mariah Carey is still one of the greatest musicians to ever do it and her journey proves that she is definitely one of God’s strongest soldiers. -MJ

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