Mariah Carey’s Former A&R Recounts How ODB Got On “Fantasy” (Remix)
One of Mariah Carey‘s most popular hits is undoubtedly her collaborative effort with the late-great Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Fantasy” (Remix).
At the time, Mariah and Dirty seemed like the most unlikely pairing in the universe, but we’ll be damned if it didn’t work BIG time.
If you’re like us, you might wonder how the hell this song even happened, well, the answer to that question came floating down our Twitter timeline courtesy of Andrew Barber of FakeShoreDrive via a 2016 Billboard article explaining the whole hilarious thing.
Here’s portions of the story as told by Cory Rooney, Mariah Carey’s A&R at the time:
I reached out to ODB and he wanted $15,000 to rap on the record. At the time, that was a lot of money, but it really wasn’t for Mariah Carey’s budget — so, no problem. He finally showed up, three hours late, and when he got there, it was about 10:30 at night. He had been drinking, and was on the phone when he walked in. Irate, screaming at some girl how he’s gonna come kill her, he’s going to kick her a**…and then whispering, “I love you.” Then screaming again. This went on for an hour.
He finally came out and was like, “Yo, pardon me, this b**ch is driving me crazy. I need some Moet and Newports before we get into this record.” I said, “It’s 12:30 at night now bro, I don’t know where we’re going to get Moet from.” He started yelling at the assistants, calling them white devils, saying, “You white devils, y’all don’t want black people to have shit.” They went out for like an hour, and the only thing they could find were some Heinekens. He was so disgusted, he threw a bottle on the floor.
Oh, but it gets better:
At this point Mariah had been calling every hour on the hour, wanting to hear something over the phone. Tommy was pissed because Mariah was keeping him up, so he finally got on the phone with ODB — and after that, finally we started to record. He said one line — “me and Mariah, go back like babies with pacifiers” — then paused, said, “Yo, I need to take a break,” and went to sleep for 45 minutes. He woke up and was like, “Yo, let me hear what I did so far.” We played his one line back, he sang another line or two, and then slept for another hour. He would come up with a line, punch that in, go to sleep. He went to sleep 3 different times in the middle of trying to get that one verse done. If you listen to the record now, on his verse, you can hear that it’s punched in in pieces. He actually told the engineer, “Y’all better have your shit set and record it right, cause I’m not doing it twice.”
I stayed in the studio until we finished it. So I was sleeping in the studio when Tommy and Mariah called me, and said they loved the record. But Tommy had a bright idea: let’s get ODB back in the studio, and instead of just, “New York in the house,” do [a line] for every city. I said, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Of course [ODB] wanted another $15,000. He came back to the studio, a little more mellow but dead tired. He’s sitting there picking food out of his teeth — he pulled a piece of food out of his mouth so big it was scary. I was like, “How long did you walk around with that food in your mouth?” Like, it was unbelievable. Then he fell asleep on couch, kicked one shoe off. His foot smelled so bad, we had to let him sleep and leave the control room. Eventually, we got the other parts done and that was that. I thought the story was over.
Flip the page to read the tear-inducing finale.
Peep what happened when it came time to shoot a music video for the hit record…
A week later, it was time to shoot a video. We reached out to him, and he wanted another $15,000 dollars. No problem. So I sent a car to his house and he drank every friggin’ thing in the limo, showed up at Rye Playland [in New York], and went to his trailer. I had asked him, “Do you need the stylist to buy clothes for you?” He said, “Nah, this is hip-hop — I’m just rocking some jeans and Timbs.” [That day], he was in the trailer, in and out of consciousness, when I said, “We’re getting ready to do a scene.” He said, “I don’t got no clothes, how am I going to do a video if I ain’t got nothing to wear?” I started screaming at him.
Tommy told us take my corporate credit card to the mall. ODB disappeared for a minute, and we found him in a store trying to buy Louis Vuitton luggage. He said, “I’m going to use it for a scene.” He came back [to the set] with all these bags of Tommy Hilfiger clothes and Timberlands.
It was finally time for him to do his scene, and I promise you, he put on a pair of jeans and Timbs, and said, “I’m not going to wear a shirt, I don’t need no clothes.” I wanted to shoot him.
God bless, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard. May he soul forever rest in peace in a place where the peach schnapps is bountiful.
On the last page, Mariah said something that might surprise you about one of her peer. Flip it over to find out what she said and who she was talking about…
Despite ALL her success and ALL the years she’s spent as an icon, there was one thing that Mariah Carey still wanted back when this article was originally published…
One night, we went to dinner at Sylvia’s in Harlem — me, Tommy, and Mariah. On our way back, we were riding in the limo and every club, every car was bumping “Fantasy.” Mariah put her sunglasses on, and tears came down her cheeks, because she couldn’t believe her record was getting played all through the hood. That was the beginning of her not turning back to pop.
She once told me though she was grateful for her success, she would trade in all of her record sales to get the respect that Mary J. Blige got. She said, “Mary doesn’t have to sell 28 million records to be respected — people respect Mary, and I just want to be respected like her.”
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