A Friendly Reminder that Mariah Carey is not your Math Teacher
In case you were confused, Mariah Carey’s most recent album is not a physics tutorial. Unfortunately Mariah has received some flack lately for explaining her E=MC² album title as “Emancipation = Mariah Carey times two”— the problem being that she should have described it as “Carey to the second power” (or Carey x Carey, not Carey x 2).
I think they’re being a bit harsh over at Sense About Science. It’s not like Mariah wrote an invalid statement à la Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief track “2+2=5.” At least Mariah chose to bring some attention to Einstein’s work. I’m sure Einstein never imagined his formula would hit the top of the Billboard charts.
In any case, it’s just a title, and it’s scientifically correct. It’s not like she named it E=mc²π. She just slipped up a bit in describing her increased Carey-ness. By the way, who knew that there was even an organization tracking the scientific inaccuracies offered up by celebs? And does that mean there is some spelling organization on Nelly’s case for “Hot in Herre”?
I discovered that Mariah’s recent album went through a few title changes along the way. Based on the titles that were mentioned online, this is how I imagine the final title was chosen:
RECORD LABEL: So for your new album, we were thinking about Sweet Soul Odyssey.
MARIAH CAREY: That sounds so 2001 and pecan pie. This is the new Mimi. Free and uninhibited.
LABEL: OK, how about we use one of the tracks from the album as a title?
MC: You people are lazy.
LABEL: No, it would be great actually.
MC: Oh yeah? Which one did you have in mind? For The Record?
LABEL: Oh, that’s a good one. Funny. Ha. Ha. Well we can cross off “Bye Bye,” “Wish You Well” and “Last Kiss.” It might sound like it’s your last album.
MC: Yeah, good idea.
LABEL: How about we use “Migrate”…maybe Migration.
MC: And just where am I going?
LABEL: To the top of the charts, of course.
MC: Are you implying I was at the bottom?
LABEL: Fine. How about we use the song “I’m That Chick”?
MC: Do I have to remind you that I am Mariah Carey? What kind of crap album title is that?
LABEL: Right, right. It’s too introductory and casual. How about just That Chick?
MC: I have not worked my way up to being named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium to go on to release an album called “That Chick.” Furthermore, I am not releasing an album that sounds like a Rob Schneider movie.
LABEL: I apologize…ummm, how about That Girl?
MC: Is that all you can come up with?
LABEL: Too 1980s Madonna?
Mariah storms out of the office suite.
— One week later —
MC: I have an idea for the album title. I want to do something for the children. You know, something educational.
LABEL: You did. It was called “Butterfly.” And “When You Believe.” Should I go on?
MC: No, more than a song. I’m thinking something scientific for the album title.
LABEL (getting excited): Brilliant! It’s Elemental...It’s Just Chemistry, Baby… Mariah on Fire.
MC: “E” equals “M” “C” squared.
MC: I’ve been doing some reading.
LABEL: Stick with singing.
MC: I’m serious. This album title is going to be everywhere. I want to get kids excited about science and learning and discovery.
LABEL: That’s noble of you, but we are not here to educate, we are here to sell records. Anyway, do you even know what the formula means? How are you going to explain a title about matter and energy?
MC: No, it’s totally perfect. See, E is for emancipation. You know, like me freeing myself from the shackles of ridiculous wealth and super-stardom, and MC are my initials. I don’t have a middle name. You know that, right? And the 2, well, that’s my exponential rise above my last album. I just keep getting better.
LABEL: Watch it, you’re in Aguilera territory now.
LABEL: But I could learn to like it. E=MC². I love formulas.
MC: So I can do it?
LABEL: Sure. But you should know that we’re releasing your album on April 15th, so you could name it something like Exemption or Death and Taxes.
MC: But what does that have to do with me?
LABEL: Right. Well, you could call it Death, Taxes and Mariah Carey Tops the Charts… Nevermind, I think we’ll stick with E=MC².
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