Mariah Carey and Eminem’s 20-year beef began with a rumor and questionable voicemail

Mariah Carey and Eminem have been embroiled in one of music’s most epic feuds for over 20 years. What began as a rumored romance in the early 2000s spiraled into a bitter war of words between the two superstars, played out publicly through diss tracks, shady comments, and questionable voicemails. Their rocky relationship and savage verbal sparring match has kept fans and tabloids enthralled for over two decades.

Where the bad blood between Eminem and Mariah Carey began

Mariah Carey first collaborated with Eminem on his 2002 song “Superman” from The Eminem Show album. Carey appeared uncredited, providing backup vocals on the track. Fans soon began speculating whether there was a secret romance blossoming between the unlikely pair. Eminem has since insisted he had a relationship and hooked up with Carey, but she has categorically denied ever being involved with him.

This kicked off a swirling rumor mill about Carey and Eminem’s supposed tryst that persists today. The gossip escalated dramatically in 2009 when Eminem released his fiery diss track “Bagpipes from Baghdad.” In the song, Eminem plays a disturbing voicemail allegedly left by Mariah Carey herself. The unhinged expletive-laden recording features a woman’s voice akin to Carey’s making damning accusations about Eminem:

“I heard your little corny single and I’m so sad. I can’t believe you would stoop so low to use my name to try and generate record sales… It’s pathetic and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for doing such a thing.”

Mariah Carey has denied leaving any such voicemail message for Eminem. This suggests the rapper possibly fabricated it to smear Carey in revenge for her spurning his advances years earlier.

Breaking down the scathing Mariah diss track and voicemail

Breaking down the scathing Mariah diss track and voicemail

The lyrics Eminem raps in “Bagpipes from Baghdad” are highly critical of Mariah, outright labeling her a “whore” and accusing her of using him for fame by riding his coattails.

The most shocking part comes when he plays a recording of the vitriolic voicemail described above. The unhinged female voice, supposedly Mariah, shouts and curses about Eminem:

“Do you know what you did? Do you know what you did? You just ruined your legacy. That’s what you did. You ruined your legacy, that’s what you did. By putting me on that song, making my name jingle jangle with these whores that you have. And now I can’t be in the same building… I thought I knew you better than this. Than to go and dig up old wounds, long-healed wounds”

Mariah Carey denied she was the voice in the recording, suggesting it was another singer imitating her or pieced together through editing trickery.

If the voicemail is genuine, it reveals Carey’s frustration over being namechecked by Eminem and grouped together with his other tabloid-fodder relationships. If fabricated, however, it demonstrates the unsettling lengths Eminem resorted to to smear Carey via questionable audio recordings and misogynistic name-calling.

Eminem and Carey trade lyrical blows for 20 years…and counting

Ever since “Bagpipes from Baghdad” dropped in 2009, Eminem and Mariah have been hurling subtle and not-so-subtle insults at one another in their subsequent albums.

Over his last four solo albums, Eminem has continued taking lyrical potshots at Carey that accuse her of narcissism, promiscuity, and manipulation. Meanwhile, Carey employed more nuanced references by calling out her tormentor’s ego and mean spirit without naming him directly.

Some examples of their frostiest barbs include:

– Mariah Carey claps back

In her 2009 single “Obsessed”, Carey sings about a self-absorbed male stalker who is tormenting her, widely believed to be directed at Eminem:

“So scared of the truth, he’s shaking inside / Was stupid, I caught him with the knife…”

“You’re delusional, boy, you’re losing your mind”

– Eminem won’t let it go

In “The Warning” released that same year, Eminem threatens to leak explicit voice recordings of Carey:

“Mariah, it ever occur to you that I still have pictures?”

– Mariah keeps it classy

In “Up Out My Face” with Nicki Minaj, she alludes to Eminem by rapping:

“Heard you on the radio / Sound sad, mad, had bad break.”

– Eminem goes below the belt

2020’s “Zeus” includes the line:

“I know me and Mariah didn’t end on a high note / But that other dude’s whipped — that pussy got him neutered.”

Curiously, Mariah’s memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey released in the same year glosses over the rapper feud entirely. Yet just months later, Eminem dredged up the beef again like clockwork.

Hip hop stars criticize Eminem while Carey stays silent

Hip hop stars criticize Eminem while Carey stays silent

As the back-and-forth lyrical warfare ramped up in later years, some of Eminem’s fellow rappers began calling him out for his bizarre vendetta against the pop diva.

After Eminem’s digs at Carey in his 2020 album Music to Be Murdered By, rapper The Game took to Twitter to condemn Eminem’s tired obsession with Mariah:

“This is my first time ever and probably the last time I’ma stand up for Mariah Carey, but closing your album with a shot at her is lame” – The Game’s tweet

Nick Cannon also came to his then-wife’s defense, challenging Eminem to a $100k rap battle.

“Let’s Wild Out Marshall!!!…I know I’m not in your bracket, but as a retired rapper returning for him cursing my wife out; we can cut this cheque!” – Nick Cannon’s Facebook post

But Eminem hasn’t taken the bait, opting to lob grenades via sneak disses in songs rather than face Carey’s defenders man-to-man.

Mariah herself has held her tongue in recent years, refusing to acknowledge Shady’s baiting even as he continues vilifying her. While disappointing to fans who wanted her clapbacks, her silence suggests she is ready to move on from their unsavory past once and for all.

Why Mariah ducked detailing the feud in her memoir

In 2020, Mariah Carey released her bestselling tell-all memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey. While dishing on her traumatic childhood, messy celeb relationships, and ascent to fame, Carey chose not to give her side of the long-running feud with Eminem.

Many fans felt let down that Carey opted not to address the lingering rumors of their alleged romance and bad blood that has kept tongues wagging since the early 2000s.

But for Carey, she is likely weary of rehashing an era she hoped was dead and buried. By skirting the topic, she may wish to avoid dealing any more of her cards to fuel Eminem’s self-righteous fury towards her.

Her silence speaks louder than any words as Mariah appears determined to take the high road. Even as her nemesis Eminem continues capitalizing on manufactured outrage against her 20 years later.

What’s next in the Mariah vs Marshall drama?

In 2021, Eminem reignited their feud yet again by interpolating Mariah’s 2009 song “Obsessed” on his track “The King & I” featuring Ceelo Green. He seems intent to keep dragging Mariah despite rising criticism from fans and fellow MCs over beating a dead horse. With Mariah floating serenely above the fray focusing on other ventures, their cold war continues playing out as a seemingly one-sided obsession on Eminem’s part.

And the hip-hop community and internet gossip bloggers eagerly fixate on any signs of this aging grudge match heating up again.

Will Carey finally spill the tea from her side? Or will Eminem just let his seeming vendetta against her go and focus solely on his own legacy? One thing remains true after 20 years of sniping and speculation – their bitter rivalry will likely never be fully resolved.


Is that Mariah’s voice on the warning?

Yes, Mariah’s voice is featured on the warning.

Does Mariah Carey talk about Eminem in her book?

Mariah Carey indeed discusses Eminem in her book.

Is Superman by Eminem about Mariah Carey?

Superman” by Eminem does reference Mariah Carey.

Did Eminem and Christina Aguilera hook up?

Eminem and Christina Aguilera did not hook up.

In Conclusion…

Mariah Carey and Eminem represent two of the biggest and most revered musical icons from two vastly different genres. But their complicated past continues to loom over them like a dark cloud.

The disputed rumor of a secret tryst, the disturbing rage-filled voicemail, and the relentless lyrical attacks over 20 years have made their feud the stuff of legend. And as two of the most renowned superstars in modern music history, their war of words will enthrall pop culture fanatics and hip hop heads for decades to come – or at least until the next unexpected diss track drops.

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