Mariah Carey Almost Had a Song With The Notorious B.I.G.

Mariah Carey has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry over the past three decades. As an artist whose reach expands far beyond R&B, Carey has teamed up with rappers and other singers to create countless hits over the years.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey attends Variety’s 2019 Power of Women: Los Angeles presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 11, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California | Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Mariah Carey was friends with rappers back in the day

Carey worked with P. Diddy (known back then as Puff Daddy or simply Puffy) on several of her songs; the rapper produced many of her hits such as “Fantasy” and “Honey.” As a result, the two struck up a friendly working relationship.

Carey recorded several songs in the ’90s and ’00s with rapper and producer Jermaine Dupri. One of these was the remix for her hit “Always Be My Baby,” which featured one of the hottest female rappers at the time: Chicago femcee Da Brat.

Carey even had a brief encounter with Tupac Shakur backstage at an award show early in her career.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey performs at the 81st Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Pre-Tape at Rockefeller Center on December 3, 2013 in New York City | James Devaney/WireImage

The Mariah Carey song The Notorious B.I.G. was supposed to be on

In addition to Tupac, Carey got to know his frenemy, Brooklyn rapper The Notorious B.I.G. In 1997, the two made plans for Biggie to be featured on the remix for “Honey.”

Carey reflected on the story (and its sad ending) in her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey.

“As much as I loved ‘Honey,’ my only major disappointment was that Biggie (the Notorious B.I.G.) never made it onto the remix,” she admitted. “I had never met Biggie, but there was a running story that I had beef with him because of his song ‘Dreams of F*cking an R&B B*tch.'” In his classic song, titled “Just Playing (Dreams),” Biggie says “Mariah Carey’s kinda scary.”

Carey took offense to the line, but when she was in the studio with P. Diddy one day, he put Biggie on the phone and the two got to speak to each other. “In true Biggie form — half pimp, half preacher — he said, ‘Naw, ma, you know, no disrespect,’ assuring me the song was all in fun. So things were cool between us,” Carey recalled.

Notorious B.I.G. rapping onstage at a concert in 1995
The Notorious B.I.G. rapping onstage at a concert in 1995 | Chris Walter/WireImage

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Mariah Carey hit it off with The Notorious B.I.G.

Carey was excited about the prospect of working with him and making an amazing remix to an already amazing song.

“On the call, we talked about the music and flow, and even clowned a litle bit. It was a chill and creative conversation,” Carey remembered. “He was confident about what he wanted to bring to ‘Honey,’ and I had no doubt he would come into the studio and crush it; that’s what Biggie did.”

“Tragically, he didn’t live long enough to make our studio date,” she lamented, as he was murdered in March 1997 at just 24 years old. “The ‘Honey (Bad Boy Remix)’ featuring Mase and The Lox was a smash, but there’s a part of me that still misses Biggie on that song, and certainly in this world.”