It’s legendary creator for The Culture Mariah Carey’s birthday so today’s #CultureClassic we’re featuring her smash hit collaboration with ODB, the “Fantasy” remix.
Everyone knows the song, a Diddy produced track by one of the biggest singers on the planet and featuring one of the leading members of the Wu-Tang Clan, etc. It was one of the biggest hits of the 90’s and a certified Culture Classic after all. But the story behind how the song came together is the stuff of legend. The story was told by Cory Rooney, the A&R rep on the song and is so wild and so funny it could be made into a movie. Here’s a quick breakdown:
ODB wanted $15,000 to do a verse which at the time, was a ton of money, but Mariah Carey was a huge star with a huge budget so her label agreed. ODB shows up to the studio, three hours late at 10:30pm…drunk…and arguing with his woman loudly on the phone for everyone to hear…for nearly two hours. Finally concluding his argument he tells Rooney “Yo, pardon me, this b**ch is driving me crazy. I need some Moet and Newports before we get into this record.” A shocked Roonry responded by saying, “It’s 12:30 at night now bro, I don’t know where we’re going to get Moet from.” ODB proceeds to started yelling at the assistants, calling them white devils, saying, “You white devils, y’all don’t want black people to have sh*t.” The assistants went out for an hour, and the only thing they could find were some Heinekens. He was so disgusted, he threw a bottle on the floor.
At this point Mariah had been calling every hour on the hour, wanting to hear something over the phone. Tommy Mattola (legendary music exec and Mariah’s husband at the time) was pissed because Mariah was keeping him up, so he finally got on the phone with ODB himself — and after that, the finally started recording. 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 said to Rooney, “Yo, let me hear what I did so far.” He played his one line back, he sang another line or two, and then slept for another hour. ODB 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 closely 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 sh*t set and record it right, cause I’m not doing it twice.”
The process of getting the music video done was equally…interesting. ODB wanted another $15,000, which again wasn’t a problem on Mariah’s budget. But things got a bit tricky when the Wu-Tang rapper complained he didn’t have anything to wear for the video–“I don’t got no clothes, how am I going to do a video if I ain’t got nothing to wear?” ODB took Tommy’s corporate credit card to Louis Vuitton and came back with several bags of Tommy Hilfiger clothes and Timberlands. He then had a change of heart telling Rooney “I’m not going to wear a shirt, I don’t need no clothes.” Rooney admitted to wanting to “shoot him.” Eventually he does do a shirtless scene and a couple with the multiple racks worth of Tommy Hilfiger he bought with Tommy Mattola’s credit card. Wild.
In conclusion, it’s a minor miracle the song and the video were even made. Despite ODB’s “unique” creative process, or maybe because of it, Mariah and Old Dirt Dog created one of The Culture’s most iconic remixes.
If you enjoyed that check out some of our other throwback Hip-Hop#CultureClassics:
Written by @TalentedMrFord