It's Like That (Mariah Carey song)

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"It's Like That"
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album The Emancipation of Mimi
Released January 25, 2005[1]
Format Digital download, CD single, 12" single
Recorded 2004
Length 3:23
Label Island
Writer(s) Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, Johntá Austin, Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Jason Mizell
Producer(s) Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal
Certification Gold (Australia, U.S.)
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"U Make Me Wanna"
"It's Like That"
"We Belong Together"
The Emancipation of Mimi track listing
"It's Like That"
"We Belong Together"

"It's Like That" is a song written by Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, and Johntá Austin, and produced by Carey, Dupri, and Seal for Carey's tenth studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005). It borrows the hook "it's like that y'all" from the Run–D.M.C. tracks "Hollis Crew" (1984) and "Here We Go (Live)" (1983), and shares its name with another Run–DMC song. It was the first single to be released from the album, in 2005. It was a top twenty hit in several countries, including the United States, and was nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

"Stay the Night", produced by Kanye West, "Say Somethin'" featuring Snoop Dogg, and "Shake It Off" were all contenders for the lead single. Eventually, however, plans were changed when Island Records head L.A. Reid suggested to Carey she record a few more strong songs to ensure the album's success. After a writing and recording session with Dupri, "It's Like That" was chosen as the lead single.


In 2001, Carey released her debut film Glitter (2001), which was met with critical and commercial overwhelming negative response, followed by personal and professional struggles.[2] Its accompanying soundtrack fared slightly better, spawning a top-five single in the United States and selling over three million units globally.[3] After posting a personally expressive letter on her official site, Carey checked into a hospital in Connecticut because of an "emotional and physical breakdown".[4] Following the events, Virgin Records bought out Carey's unprecedented $100 million USD recording contract. The company paid her $50 million to part ways.[5] Carey flew to Capri, Italy, after her two-week hospitalization.[6] During her five-month stay, she began to write a new studio album, using experiences she had gone through in recent months as inspirational themes.[7]

After being signed by Island Records and starting her own imprint, MonarC Entertainment, Carey released her intended "comeback" album Charmbracelet (2002).[6] However, the album failed to revive her career, receiving mixed reviews and not spawning a hit in the U.S., but sold considerably well. After enduring three years of "carping" from critics, Carey planned her return to music.[5] On November 18, 2004, she revealed on her website that she would return to music and announced that the album would be called The Emancipation of Mimi, stating, "For the first time in my life, I feel free and unashamed to be who I really am," she wrote. "I am celebrating that I've grown into a person and artist who no longer feels imprisoned by my insecurities ... I can now honestly say, 'This is me, the real me, take it or leave it'."[8]


Originally, "Stay the Night" was going to be The Emancipation of Mimi's lead-single, with an online music forum based in the United Kingdom, announcing that it would be in stores on October 11 (in the UK). A few weeks later, it was removed from the release schedule, but it re-appeared under a different date, November 15, 2004.[9] Later, it was revealed that "Say Somethin'" (feat. Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg) was supposed to be the album's first single, as reported by Jennifer Vineyard of MTV News, who also revealed that the song was originally supposed to go to radio by the end of November, but it was pushed back to January and would be accompanied by a video, according to Carey's label representative.[8]

However, both singles weren't release as the first single (eventually "Say Somethin'" was released as the album's final single), as former Island Records head L.A. Reid suggested Carey travel to Atlanta for a period of three days to work with Jermaine Dupri. When Reid heard the Dupri-helmed songs, Carey recalled, "He was like, 'Oh no! Now we've got to change the single, make these singles one and two.' " Carey agreed. "Nobody could tell me that 'Shake It Off' wasn't going to be my first single. It was my favorite song, just from the demo." Dupri had quickly sized up what he felt the album needed. "The records that I made are very melodic records, regardless of their hip-hop influence," Dupri said. "I think that's what she was missing."[10]

On January 5, 2005, "It's Like That" leaked online and it was rumoured to be the official first single.[11] "It's Like That" aired first on Hot 97 in New York City and since the leak, over 40 stations begun playing the track.[12] On January 15, 2005, Mariah Carey posted a sound clip of "It's Like That", on her official website.[13] Ultimately, "It's Like That" was sent to mainstream and rhythmic radio on January 25, 2005.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian wrote a positive review: "A headbanging Fatman Scoop rap may define 'It's Like That,' for instance, but Carey is very much a presence, unfurling her three octaves judiciously."[14] The New York Times editor Jon Pareles wrote: "So she tries her best to get down by doing some bling-bling brand-name dropping, by booking rappers and by setting songs in clubs, starting with the album's first single, "It's Like That," a come-on set to bare-bones electro from the producer Jermaine Dupri."[15] Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine highlighted this track.[16] Entertainment Weekly editor Tom Sinclair also wrote a positive review: It's Like That isn't the old Run-DMC song, but it's almost as cool, with Carey fantasizing about easing into a nightclub buzzed on Bacardi. No stress, no fights, she sings, making it sound like a trip to a vacation spa."[17] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote: "Mimi is, for the most part, a party record, exemplified by its Jermaine Dupri-produced first single "It's Like That," in which Mimi celebrates her emancipation by arriving at the party already shit-faced: "I came to have a party / Open off that Bacardi…Purple taking me higher / I'm lifted and I like it."[18] Vibe editor Dimitri Enrlich wrote that this song is an "aggressive, off kilter joint with harshly stiff beat", he also wrote that this is obviously going to solidify comeback to her MTV crowd. He also added that Carey's voice adds a thick layer to Dupri's heavy bass."[19]

Chart performance[edit]

"It's Like That" was one of Carey's biggest commercial successes in years, reaching number 16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song's peak position on the Hot 100 contrasted with the chart performance of Carey's previous singles as a lead artist released between 2001 and 2004, most of which had failed to chart on the Hot 100 or even its Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It stayed in the top forty for fifteen weeks and was ranked 69 on the Hot 100 2005 year-end chart. It was certified gold by the RIAA, becoming Carey's first gold digital single.[20]

The single was slightly more successful outside the U.S. It reached the top twenty in Germany, France and Norway, the top ten in Australia and Italy and the top five in United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 4. It performed most successfully in Asia, where it peaked at number one in Taiwan, China, Japan, and topped multiple local charts in the Philippines.


An official remix produced by Scott Storch has a more Middle Eastern flavor and a rap by Fat Joe. Dance remixes, with re-recorded vocals by Carey, were produced by David Morales. Peter Rauhofer and Pound Boys (a.k.a. Mayhem & Craig C.) also remixed "It's like That", but their remixes were not released. Because many singles by 2005 did not have commercial CD single releases, the remixes were only released on twelve-inch vinyl maxi single. Two maxi singles were released.

Music video[edit]

Carey initially wanted Paul Hunter to direct the video.[21] However, Brett Ratner, who directed some of Carey's other videos, was later chosen instead. The main setting of the video, which was shot on location at Greystone Park Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on February 11, 2005, is a party at a mansion turned nightclub on the night before Carey's character's wedding to Eric Roberts. Several guests are seen wearing masks, and there are celebrity cameo appearances by Brian McKnight, Randy Jackson, and the two featured rappers on the track, Dupri and Fatman Scoop. Carey is singing along to Fatman Scoop's outro rap when she sees a party guest (played by Wentworth Miller) taking off his mask and revealing himself to be an ex-lover of hers. The video ends on a cliffhanger, which leads to the video for the album's second single, "We Belong Together" (the two videos were filmed simultaneously).

Formats and track listings[edit]

European/UK CD single

  1. "It's Like That" (Main Version) - 3:25
  2. "It's Like That" (David Morales Radio Mix) - 3:27

Australian/European CD maxi-single

  1. "It's Like That" (Main Version) - 3:25
  2. "It's Like That" (No Rap) - 3:24
  3. "It's Like That" (David Morales Club Mix) - 8:27
  4. "It's Like That" (David Morales Classic Mix)- 8:58
  5. "It's Like That" (Stereo Experience) - 10:45

Japanese CD maxi-single

  1. "It's Like That" (Main Version) - 3:25
  2. "It's Like That" (No Rap) - 3:24
  3. "It's Like That" (David Morales Radio Mix) - 3:27
  4. "It's Like That" (David Morales Club Mix) - 8:27


Chart (2005) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[22] 9
Croatia (Croatian Airplay Radio Chart)[23] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[24] 33
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[25] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[26] 32
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[27] 29
Denmark (Tracklisten)[28] 19
European Hot 100 Singles[29] 8
France (SNEP)[30] 16
Germany (Media Control AG)[31] 14
Hungary (Mahasz)[32] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[33] 11
Italy (FIMI)[34] 7
Japan (Oricon)[35] 130
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[36] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[37] 21
Norway (VG-lista)[38] 13
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[40] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[41] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[42] 16
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[43] 17
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[44] 1


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[45] Gold 35,000^
United States (RIAA)[46] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


Preceded by
"Everything" by Kaskade featuring Gary Pine
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
May 21, 2005
Succeeded by
"Here I Am" by David Morales featuring Tamra Keenan
Preceded by
"Candy Shop" by 50 Cent featuring Olivia
China Singles Chart number-one single
April 30, 2005
Succeeded by
"Lonely No More" by Rob Thomas
Preceded by
"No Doubt" by Co Co Lee
Taiwan Singles Chart number-one single
May 7, 2005
Succeeded by
"Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney


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  26. ^ " – Mariah Carey – It's Like That" (in French). Ultratop 50.
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  33. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
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External links[edit]