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Boy (I Need You)

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"Boy (I Need You)"
Single by Mariah Carey featuring Cam'ron
from the album Charmbracelet
Released November 26, 2002 (2002-11-26)
Format CD single, 12"
Genre R&B, Hip Hop
Length 5:14
Label Island
Writer(s) Mariah Carey, Justin Smith, Norman Whitfield, Cameron Giles
Producer(s) Mariah Carey, Just Blaze
Mariah Carey chronology
"Through the Rain"
(2002)
"Boy (I Need You)"
(2002)
"I Know What You Want"
(2003)

"Boy (I Need You)" is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, taken from her ninth studio album, Charmbracelet (2002). It was written by Carey, Justin Smith, Norman Whitfield and Cameron Giles, and produced by the former and Just Blaze. The song was released as the album's second single on November 26, 2002. Initially, "The One" had been chosen as the second single from the album, however, halfway through the filming of a music video for it, the singer decided to release "Boy (I Need You)" instead. Considered by Carey as one of her favorites, the track is a reworked version of rapper Cam'ron's song "Oh Boy" released earlier that year.

The song was met with generally mixed reviews from contemporary critics. Many praised Carey's versatility and considered it as one of the stand-out tracks of Charmbracelet for having a different production when compared to the others. However, the sample hook of the song was described as "annoying". The single failed to make much impact on the charts around the world; it reached number 68 on the US Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B Songs chart and number 57 on the US Hot Singles Sales chart. Elsewhere, the song reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom, while peaking within the top 40 in Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland and New Zealand.

The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, incorporates elements of Japanese culture and features Carey's alter-ego Bianca. It was also the first time that Carey worked with Kahn in a music video, which premiered on an episode of MTV's Making the Video in 2003. Following the release of "Through the Rain", Carey embarked on several stateside, European and Asian promotional tours in support of Charmbracelet, as well as its accompanying singles. Carey performed "Boy (I Need You)" live on several television shows appearances around the world.

Background[edit]

After she received Billboard's Artist of the Decade Award and the World Music Award for Best-Selling Female Artist of the Millennium in 2000,[1] Carey parted from Columbia Records and signed a record-breaking $100 million five-album recording contract with Virgin (EMI Records).[2] She often stated that Columbia had regarded her as a commodity, with her separation from Tommy Mottola exacerbating her relations with label executives.[3] Just a few months later, in July, 2001, it was widely reported that Carey had suffered a physical and emotional breakdown.[3] and her relationship with the Latin icon Luis Miguel ended.[4] In an interview the following year, she said, "I was with people who didn't really know me and I had no personal assistant. I'd do interviews all day long and get two hours of sleep a night, if that."[5] Carey began posting a series of disturbing messages on her official website, and displayed erratic behavior on several live promotional outings.[6] On July 19, 2001, Carey made a surprise appearance on the MTV program Total Request Live (TRL).[7] As the show's host Carson Daly began taping following a commercial break, Carey came out pushing an ice cream cart while wearing a large men's shirt, and began a striptease, in which she shed her shirt to reveal a tight yellow and green ensemble.[7] While she later revealed that Daly was aware of her presence in the building prior to her appearance, Carey's appearance on TRL garnered strong media attention.[6]

Only days later, Carey began posting irregular voice notes and messages on her official website: "I'm trying to understand things in life right now and so I really don't feel that I should be doing music right now. What I'd like to do is just a take a little break or at least get one night of sleep without someone popping up about a video. All I really want is [to] just be me and that's what I should have done in the first place ... I don't say this much but guess what, I don't take care of myself."[7] Following the quick removal of the messages, Berger commented that Carey had been "obviously exhausted and not thinking clearly" when she posted the letters.[8] On July 26, she was hospitalized, citing "extreme exhaustion" and a "physical and emotional breakdown".[9] News websites and programs began reporting how Carey threatened to commit suicide by slitting her wrists the night before, and how Patricia, Carey's mother, hastily called for help.[9] When questioned regarding Carey's suicidal rumor, Berger claimed she had broken dishes out of desperation, and as a result, accidentally cut her hands and feet.[9] Carey was inducted at an un-disclosed hospital in Connecticut, and remained hospitalized and under doctor's care for two weeks, followed by an extended absence from the public.[9] Following the heavy media coverage surrounding Carey's publicized breakdown and hospitalization, Virgin Records and 20th Century Fox delayed the release of both Glitter, as well as its soundtrack of the same name.[10]

Critics panned Glitter, as well as its accompanying soundtrack; both were unsuccessful commercially.[11] The accompanying soundtrack album, Glitter, became Carey's lowest-selling album to that point. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dismissed it as "an absolute mess that'll go down as an annoying blemish on a career that, while not always critically heralded, was at least nearly consistently successful."[12] Following the negative cloud that was ensuing Carey's personal life at the time, as well as the project's poor reception, her unprecedented $100 million five-album record deal with Virgin Records (EMI Records) was bought out for $50 million.[2][13] Soon after, Carey flew to Capri, Italy for a period of five months, in which she began writing material for her new album, stemming from all the personal experiences she had endured throughout the past year.[6] Carey later said that her time at Virgin was "a complete and total stress-fest [...] I made a total snap decision which was based on money and I never make decisions based on money. I learned a big lesson from that."[14] Later that year, she signed a contract with Island Records, valued at more than $24 million,[15] and launched the record label MonarC. To add further to Carey's emotional burdens, her father, with whom she had little contact since childhood, died of cancer that year.[16]

Recording and release[edit]

A 30 second sample of "Boy (I Need You)" by Mariah Carey, features the singer interpolating verses with rapper Cam'ron before following to the chorus.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Carey started writing songs for then untitled Charmbracelet in 2002,[17] before she signed the record deal.[18] She decided to concentrate on "getting some much-needed rest"[19] and traveled to Capri and moved into the studio, which she had reserved to record the album.[20] While at Capri, Carey could focus on her writing and recording, without being subjected to any stress or pressure.[17] According to her, she would write the songs in her apartment upstairs, and would record them at the studio downstairs, at night.[21] Thus, most of the album was recorded in Capri although she traveled to Atlanta, New York and Philadelphia to record a few tracks.[22] The result was that Charmbracelet was her "most personal album" she had ever made.[21]

While Carey paved a lot of the album with slower and autobiographical ballads, she also attempted at making an album with a mixture of several different genres. According to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, the album showed off Carey's musical and vocal versatility, especially when viewing the differences in the record's first and second singles, "Ms. Carey is known for her voice, of course: she can hit high notes that barely sound human, and few singers leap around the octaves as gracefully as she does. But as she tries to regain her audience, her greatest weapon may be her versatility: Ms. Carey also knows how to make a hip-hop hit by holding back and letting the beat shine."[23] Carey decided to work with Just Blaze after she heard the song "Oh Boy" he had produced for Cam'ron.[21] Together they produced "Boy (I Need You)", a remake of "Oh Boy", and "You Got Me".[21] Carey described the former as one of her favorites on the album. "It's definitely one of my favorites, 'cause I love the original. It was cool to have him out there doing his thing in such a random environment," she said.[21] "Boy (I Need You)" was released as the second single from the album on November 26, 2002.[24] Initially, "The One" was scheduled to be released as the second single and the music video was shot for the song.[25] However, halfway through the filming, the track was changed to "Boy (I Need You)".[26]

Reception[edit]

"Boy (I Need You)" received mostly mixed reviews from contemporary critics. Jon Pareles of The New York Times complimented the track on its differences with most of the content on Charmbracelet.[23] Entertainment Weekly writer Tom Sincalir said that "the herky-jerky [track], on which Cam'ron guests, [adds] some welcome energy" to the album.[27] Michael Paoletta of Billboard considered it as one of Charmbracelet‍ '​s stand-out tracks,[28] while Slant Magazine‍ '​s Sal Cinquemani said "Boy (I Need You)", along with "You Got Me", "provide further evidence that Carey should keep her rappers on the remix."[29] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic noted that Carey did not "completely abandon hip-hop, but whenever it rears its head on Charmbracelet, it's utterly jarring" citing the song as an example, while describing the sampled vocal hook as "annoying".[30] Erlewine, however, selected it as a Track Pick from the album review.[30] The single failed to make much impact on the charts around the world; it reached number 68 on the US Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B Songs chart and number 57 on the US Hot Singles Sales chart.[31] Elsewhere, the song reached number 17 in the United Kingdom, while peaking within the top 40 in Australia,[32] the Netherlands, Ireland and New Zealand.[33]

Music video and live performances[edit]

Carey and Cam'ron shown in anime form during the video's final scene.

Described as "Speed Racer meets Hello Kitty meets me and Cam'ron" by Carey,[34] the video was directed by Joseph Kahn, stars actor Will Yun Lee and incorporates elements of Japanese culture and features Carey's alter-ego Bianca.[26] When asked about the music video, Kahn replied, "To me, videos aren't movies, they're their own art form-like poetry. If you're a poet, you want to make poetry."[35] Carey also revealed that the music video marked the first time she worked with Kahn.[34] The music video production and recording was shown in a MTV's Making the Video episode in 2003.[36] The video was likened to a "clear extension of Janet's "Doesn't Really Matter" for its similar settings and theme of Japanese pop culture.[37] Following the release of "Through the Rain", Carey embarked on several stateside, European and Asian promotional tours in support of Charmbracelet, as well as its accompanying singles. Three days prior to the album's stateside release, a one-hour special titled Mariah Carey: Shining Through the Rain aired on MTV, in which Carey was interviewed and sang several songs from Charmbracelet and of her catalog.[38] During the interview, Carey addressed rumors of her breakdown and its cause, as well as of the album and its inspiration, followed by a question and answer with fans.[38] During the album's month of release, Carey appeared on several television talk shows, launching her promotional tour on Today, where she performed a four song set-list at Mall of America for a crowd of over 10,000.[39] Carey also performed the song on Top of the Pops and on The Graham Norton Show.[40][41]

Formats and track listings[edit]

  • CD single — part 1[42]
  1. "Boy (I Need You)"
  2. "Boy (I Need You)" [Remix]
  3. "Boy (I Need You)" [Copenhaniacs Remix]
  4. "Boy (I Need You)" [Enhanced Music Video]
  • CD single — part 2[43]
  1. "Boy (I Need You)"
  2. "Boy (I Need You)" [Street Remix]
  3. "Boy (I Need You)" [Topnotch L8 Mix]
  4. "Boy (I Need You)" [Topnotch Tox Mix]
  1. "Boy (I Need You)" [Radio Edit]
  2. "Boy (I Need You)" [LP Version]
  3. "Boy (I Need You)" [Instrumental]
  4. "Boy (I Need You)" [Acapella]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[45] 29
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[46] 6
Canada (Jam! Canoe)[47] 32
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[48] 91
France (SNEP)[49] 51
Germany (Media Control Charts)[50] 73
Ireland (IRMA)[51] 40
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[52] 35
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[53] 45
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[54] 19
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[55] 78
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[56] 17
US Hot Singles Sales (Billboard)[31] 57
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[31] 68

References[edit]

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External links[edit]