The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

There are still thirty-three 11s in play, but, as I said last night, every song from this point on has received at least two 11s . . .

So if you get a tag notification from me, don't break down and cry . . .


Friends ask me how I feel and I lie convincingly
'Cause I don't want to reveal the fact that I'm suffering
So I wear my disguise 'til I go home at night
And turn down all the lights and then I break down and cry



featuring Krayzie Bone & Wish Bone

Score: 9.189
High scores: 11×4 (@lalaclairi_, @BEST FICTION, @Mushroom, @Blond), 10×36 (@Music Is Life, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @Jimmyandroid, @GimmeWork, @Womanizer, @The Hot Rock, @Maria, @Imagineitwasus, @ohaimanabu, @Tigerlily, @JamesJupiter, @soratami, @Pinky25, @RUNAWAY, @nikkysan, @godspeed, @ysev, @japanbonustrack, @CasuallyCrazed, @Hurricane Drunk, @If You Go, @londonrain, @Love Deluxe, @evilsin, @BreatheBox, @Lapras, @PayMe, @Lost In Japan., @LeBratt, @Remorque, @codecat, @Posh Spears, @RainOnFire, @Island, @Oceandrive, @vague), 9×8 (@P'NutButter, @tylerc904, @AdzBrown, @Robsolete, @Slice of Life, @mokitsu, @Seventeen Days, @Sail On)
Low scores: 4×2 (@Daniel_O, @abael), 5×2 (@playboy69, @Sprockrooster), 5.5×1 (@DominoDancing)
My score: 10

5 ballots: #29, 8.800 avg.
10 ballots: #13, 9.100 avg.
15 ballots: #12, 9.133 avg.
20 ballots: #19, 8.800 avg.
25 ballots: #15, 8.720 avg.
30 ballots: #17, 8.717 avg.
35 ballots: #14, 8.929 avg.
40 ballots: #12, 9.025 avg.
45 ballots: #9, 9.156 avg.
50 ballots: #9, 9.110 avg.
55 ballots: #10, 9.118 avg.
60 ballots: #9, 9.175 avg.
61 ballots: #8, 9.189 avg.

"Breakdown" is the sixth track from Mariah's sixth studio album, "Butterfly". Its lyrics were written by Mariah, Anthony "Krayzie Bone" Henderson, and Charles "Wish Bone" Scruggs; it was composed by Mariah and Stevie J; and arranged+produced by Mariah, Stevie J, and Sean Combs. "Breakdown" was released as a single in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand on March 22, 1998, and was released as a double a-side with "My All" in the US on April 21, 1998. It peaked at #4 in New Zealand and at #38 in Australia. In the US, the song was ineligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 due to chart rules at the time, but it peaked at #4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at #53 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. Not counting the US release where it was coupled with "My All", "Breakdown" has sold roughly 10k physical copies in total worldwide. The single's b-side was the Mo' Thugs Remix of the song, which incorporates a new intro and verse from Layzie Bone, as well as longer verses from Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone; this version of the song was also included on Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's album "The Collection Vol. 1", released on November 24, 1998. There's also a no rap version if that's your thing.

Mariah's decision to work with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony was met with skepticism at the time of the song's release - even from the group itself - as she was still mostly known for her big pop singles and adult contemporary ballads. In a 1998 interview with Chris Nickson, she recalled, "I told Bone Thugs-n-Harmony I wanted to record something with them. Their reaction was something like, 'Okay...?' I think I shock people with the ideas I have, but I believe the result is okay." In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Krayzie Bone said, "We ... got a call from our manager at the time, Steve Lobel. He told us that Mariah wanted to do a song with us. Back then it was like, we didn't even realize what that meant, because we was fresh in the game. Still fresh off the streets. We even played around with the flight she had set up. I remember being on the plane with Wish Bone, like, 'I don't even know if I want to go'. We were contemplating all the way up until they shut the door, and then we were like, 'Well, it's too late now, we gotta go'."

The song's lack of support became a major point of contention between Mariah and her then-label, Sony Records, who were not pleased that Mariah had fully begun incorporating hip-hop and R&B elements into her music during the "Butterfly" era. In a November 1998 interview with Vibe, Mariah explained her frustration with its limited release: "Everyone swung it like I didn't want to put something out because I wouldn't accept less than a number one pop single. That's not even true. Like I didn't want to 'break a streak'. My streak was broken a long time ago. I don't even have a streak. I had five number ones, then I had records that didn't go to number one. Whatever. I wanted to put out 'Breakdown' with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. That was a no-brainer. Release it. I'll always be upset 'Breakdown' never got its shot."

When the time came to begin compiling tracks for her first compilation album, "#1's", Mariah fought to include "Breakdown", as well as "Underneath The Stars", because she thought the album should showcase her best material, not just her hits. Sony, however, wanted the album to only include the thirteen #1 singles she had amassed at that point and nothing else. As a compromise, Mariah was allowed to include four newly recorded songs on the album, but she still regarded "#1's" as a personal disappointment for not showcasing what she believed to be her best music.

Simply put, this is a masterpiece. In every single conceivable way. It's literally the perfect song paired with the perfect video with perfect lyrics and perfect production and perfect vocals. It's just perfection, period. Truly. What else is there to say, honestly? I feel sorry for you girls who don't appreciate the beauty of this song; I can't say that I understand that mindset, but I do have sympathy for your plight.​

@lalaclairi_ (11) — "One of the most vulnerable moments of Mariah's career. I've grown to love this more and more as time passes and I get older."

@BEST FICTION (11) — "I became a Mariah fan late in life, as most tweens my age, I was obsessed with We Belong Together, but my Xtina stanning meant I had to be anti-Mariah. It wasn't until I was 18 and let go of the pettiness of being a 'stan' that I finally deep-dived into Mariah's discography. This album and this song were my biggest takeaways. I had always known Mariah to be an incredible songwriter, but after hearing this song for the first time, I could feel every single word she had written. This song is just so special to me, and I'm so sad that her label fuckery didn't give it the proper single release it deserved."

@Blond (11) — "This song is a masterpiece. The production is exquisite, similarly to The Roof it has these gorgeous, restrained vocals which highlight the fantastic, all-too-relatable lyrics. I was always a fan of Mariah's singles, but it wasn't until listening to this album and discovering songs like this that she became one of my all-time favourites. She's an insanely talented fucking genius and this to me is her best work for sure."

@Music Is Life (10) — "The subtle feel of this really works in its favor, and helps enhance the experience of listening to it. The two rappers also help elevate this too, but I feel like it's the chorus and the end that makes this a true 10/10."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "Perhaps the ultimate Mariah Carey fan favourite, and the biggest chart injustice of her long career too! If not that, then certainly of the 1990's period. It's a pure shambles, actually no, a pure travesty, that Breakdown never ever got the big push and back up by Sony like it should have been. This is the ultimate Mariah Carey foray into hip hop and deserved it be a smash. Still, at least us lambs know this and I love how she does too, hence it's inclusion in the equally divine With You over 2 decades later."

@Jimmyandroid (10) — "Taught me the meaning of nonchalant and inducted me into the world of r&b."

@GimmeWork (10) — "'Ever since that bone thugs song'... ddd. But seriously the cabaret in the video is such a serve."

@Womanizer (10) — "Depressionriah in peak form."

@The Hot Rock (10) — "Fares much better in comparison to the other collaborations in the rate. Loved it."

@Imagineitwasus (10) — "Can you imagine following five consecutive career-defining singles with yet another one? This is the most complex emotional oscillogram ever recorded."

@Pinky25 (10) — "The delivery of the lyrics is so incredible to me."

@godspeed (10) — "Break-breakdown... steady breaking me on down'... Rating Butterfly track-by-track and thinking about all of these incredible songs is making me realize how this entire album is truly an 11. 'Breakdown' is one of Mariah's smoothest songs and I really hope it gets a lot of love in this rate because it deserves to. The collaboration with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony works incredibly well, it's 90s R&B Mariah at her best. The music video is stunning and also one of her best. Really, what's not to like about 'Breakdown'? This is Top 10 material for me."

@ysev (10) — "I think there's never been a song that talked about heartbreak in a more eloquent way."

@japanbonustrack (10) — "Best song on the album!"

@If You Go (10) — "One of her best songs ever, and was also almost my 11."

@londonrain (10) — "I don't have any time for Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony normally, and I really disliked Tha Crossroads being ubiquitous around this time, but Wish and Krayzie Bone complement Mariah's performance beautifully here. One of her best."

@evilsin (10) — "'Breakdown' went past me when it was released and I only truly discovered it a couple of years ago when people in Mariah's general thread were praising it. Since that time I couldn't stop playing this amazing song so much so that it almost became my 11. Such an immaculately crafted masterpiece. Everything is so right here, but the most exciting part for me is the chorus that managed to hold so many words I'm in awe every single time. MiMi did that, whew."

@Seventeen Days (9) — "I remember reading that this song was inspired by her divorce from Tommy Mottola, which you can definitely tell in the lyrics. This is probably one of my favorite tracks on 'Butterfly'."

@pop3blow2 (8.5) — "This is fine. I think most of the collabs on this album were good decisions at the time. Some hold up better than others. This one is pretty good. Was just never a Mariah fave for me. I started to lose the plot a bit with Mariah around this time, in all honesty."

@Veeis (8) — "Another song that I didn't really like upon the first listen, now I find it one of her finest songs."

@bonnieetclyde (7) — "the vocals are very 'Emancipation' and I like the whole vibe of the track, with the featured rap. Still doesn't peak to any level where I get excited though."

@DominoDancing (5.5) — "Kinda pretty in a breezy sort of way, but overall this feels very slight."

@abael (4) — "Still too amorphous to have any impact."​

The fact it almost didn't even make the Top 10.... What the fuck.

One of my best friends recently got broken up with and she came to my house in tears the same night and we sat there listening to Breakdown for 2 hours while we talked and she cried about it. She actually requested it because I've played it so much around her. It's truly a beautiful & amazingly written song.


Staff member
Eep. The stans for My All and The Roof had better start worrying now.

I've loved Breakdown since the first time I heard it. I'm a huge fan of Mariah's bombast on her big belters, but Breakdown is an excellent example of how she's so good at staying understated while still delivering emotion and melody.