He was very focused in the studio. He wrote his rhyme and then out of nowhere, he came up with the "I know you love me" part and I loved that [singing] section. I feel like he was a perfect collaboration because he really focuses on what he's doing.
Carey debuted "I Don't" during an episode of her E!docuseries, Mariah's World, on January 29, 2017. Footage of Carey recording a snippet of the song in a studio booth was broadcast during the episode, which Hugh McIntyre of Forbes described as "perfect timing as far as promotion goes". Two days later on January 31, the cover art was revealed by Carey via her official Twitter; it shows the singer in the backseat of a white car with red leathers and accompanied by the track's featured rapper, YG, riding shotgun.Epic Records subsequently released the track for download on February 3, 2017. On March 24, 2017, a remix featuring Remy Ma was released.
Mike Wiss of Idolator described the song as being as "legendary" as the artwork: "Mariah Carey has had a really tough year. She literally rang in 2017 with one of the worst (not-quite) live performances of all time and endured the various humiliations of Mariah's World — including a fake romance with backing dancer, Bryan Tanaka." He added: "Happily, everything else is spot on. Mariah's voice is in fine form and the decision to interpolate Donnell Jones' "Where I Wanna Be" is inspired." Hugh McIntyre from Forbes wrote that the song "doesn’t see the pop star stepping too far out of the comfort zone she’s created over the past decade, opting for a laid back vibe that may please her true devotees, but which might not be uptempo enough to catch the attention of fairweather fans".
The music video for the song premiered via Carey's Vevo channel on February 3, 2017. It depicts Carey forlorn by her breakup, wearing a wedding dress only to eventually burn it. She moves in and out of a car in various outfits, from latex to lace. At one point, Carey wears an engagement ring on her middle finger, before pointing it at the camera. Carey directed the video herself and executive-produced the video with her former manager, Stella Bulochnikov.