Mariah Carey is a lot of things, but she’s not predictable. The diva of all divas has made it “Through the Rain”, got the party started on “It’s Like That”, flaunted her funny side on “Touch My Body”, and even came for Eminem’s wig on the oddball “Obsessed”. Now that she’s preparing to reinvent herself as a TV personality by replacing Jennifer Lopez on American Idol, we’ve all been waiting with anticipation to see what Queen Mimi would cook up for her new single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)“.
The answer is, not much.
“Triumphant” is a low budget slice of feature-heavy hip-hop with syrupy inspirational lyrics that sound like they were purposely penned just to get the song played in some Olympics’ commercials. The beat, courtesy of the outdated duo of Jermaine Dupri and B-Cox, wouldn’t even make it onto a Ciara album, sounding more like something you’d find on a a washed-up rapper’s mixtape.
The entire thing feels about years out-of-date, but even back then, “Triumphant” would still have trouble making it as an album cut on Charmbracelet or The Emancipation of Mimi.
But the biggest crime in this song is that Mariah is barely even on it. It’s supposed to be her own single, yet she’s relegated to the status of a hook singer while Meek Mill and Rick Ross do the heavy lifting.
It’s shocking to see that an artist of Carey’s caliber has released something with so little hit potential at such a pivotal point in her career. But then again, Mariah hasn’t exactly been ahead of the times recently. The entire booklet of her last album was filled with photos of the airbrush addict recreating famous photoshoots from her glory days. Now she’s trying to bring back the singer-meets-rapper hip-pop that she pioneered over a decade ago, and it’s made her look just as clueless and out-of-touch as Madonna’s recent attempt at relevance, MDNA.
Give “Triumphant” a week and it’ll be officially demoted to a buzz track, and Mariah will be in the studio with Noah “40″ Shebib frantically trying to cook up a single that sounds like it was recorded in 2012.
Don’t call this a comeback, because it isn’t one.