Mariah Carey has revealed fans have gotten tattoos of the lyrics to her 'Butterfly' track 'Outside'.
The 53-year-old music legend's hip-hop-infused 1997 LP 'Butterfly' turned 25 today (16.09.22), and the 'We Belong Together' hitmaker has shared the painful story behind the lyrics on the a capella track about feeling like an outsider as a mixed race person and how they resonated so strongly with her fans.
She said: “I hadn’t heard that in years.
“When I mix my records, layering my own background vocals, which is one of my favourite things to do as a producer, layer after layer, texture after texture — I’m in that moment. Hearing that back now, thinking about how my lyrics are about mainly being an outsider, growing up biracial, and that being the bane of my existence then in so many ways — that was the first specific song about that topic that I wrote and sang.”
Mariah - who worked with Sean Combs, Q-Tip, Missy Elliott and the Trackmasters on the seminal record - added in an interview with Variety: “I’ve since heard about people having tattooed its lyrics to their bodies, and deeply connected to it, so when I listened back to the a capella, you can really hear the pain in it. I’m not feeling that pain now, but I can hear its root, its core, coming through its lead.”
Elsewhere, Mariah admitted she was surprised to hear that 'Butterfly' paved the way for rap and pop collaborations.
She explained: “It was not a conscious thing that I did.
"It was just music that I wanted to make. To be able to able to talk about the butterfly – as a symbol – was symbolic of what I had to fight for: my freedom. It was a very difficult business, a male-dominated business, that I got into as a teenager and had to keep fighting to get through. I had to earn and fight for my freedom before, during, after, and still.
“So, people do tell me that ‘Butterfly’ paved the way for rap and pop collaborations.
“But at the time, I didn’t think that; I just thought this music is perfectly normal. Why would I want to stay in a box?”