Busta Rhymes reveals how Mariah Carey got him to sing on 'I Know What You Want'

·2 min read
Busta Rhymes reveals how Mariah Carey got him to sing on 'I Know What You Want'

When Mariah Carey and Busta Rhymes teamed up for 2003's "I Know What You Want," they knew they had a hit on their hands - but someone else was originally supposed to sing the male vocal.

That classic opening refrain - "Baby, if you give to me/I'll give to you/As long as you want/You know I got it" - only ended up being performed by Busta after some convincing by Mimi, the two reveal in their new documentary about the song and its lasting influence on music, which hit YouTube on Monday.

"I remember distinctly I was working in a studio called Soundtracks, on Broadway between 21st and 22nd," Rhymes says in Divine: The 18 Year Anniversary Celebration. "When I did the record and sent it to her, I - actually, I reached out to her, she told me to send it, and I told her that I sang the reference to the hook on the song, and I wanted to just give her an idea of what I think she should be doing."

Brian Killian/Getty Images Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey

Carey's opinion of his vocals was what ended up swaying Rhymes to keep them in.

"Busta was singing and I remember being like, 'Does he want me to sing this part over? Or does he like - is he keeping that part?'" she recalls. "Because at that time, rappers weren't really doing the singing thing, but I loved it."

"I wanted to get an R&B singer - male - to sing the back-and-forth with her on the hook," Rhymes adds, "and when she heard it, she insisted that I stayed on the song."

In the new doc, the pair reflect on their song turning 18. Divine also features interviews with rappers Spliff Star, Rah Digga, Rampage, Baby Sham, and Trippie Redd, as well as director Chris Robinson and actor Michael Jai White. And it details how the song spawned a sequel with Trippie Redd's "I Got You," followed by a third installment, "Where I Belong."

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