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Song You Need to Know: Mariah Carey, ‘A No No’

The diva’s sense of humor and taste for a savage insult shine brightest on her latest single

Mariah CareyAmerican Music Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Oct 2018

Mariah Carey

Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

For all the vocal gymnastics she’s justly known for, Mariah Carey also has a clever, biting sense of humor that not nearly enough people appreciate. You know (or maybe you don’t know?) all the memes she’s inspired, and her Instagram is full of hilarious and aspirational examples of her dedication to being 200% glamorous at all times. On her new single “A No No,” Carey continues to show us that she can translate her quick wit into pop gold.

“A No No” was an immediate fan favorite from her latest LP, Caution — a diss track deliciously set to a sample of Lil Kim’s “Crush on You” as Carey details all the way she has said “no” to the song’s unspecified subject. As the song progresses, she spells out extremely over this person she is, delivering insults in acrobatically sung runs.

“Snakes in the grass, it’s time to cut the lawn/Ed Scissorhands, a.k.a. I cut you off,” she sings on the track’s first verse, airily dismissing her newfound enemy. She goes on to shout out to her real-life entertainment lawyer, Ed Shapiro, and even compares herself to Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. By the end, in one of Carey’s more astoundingly perfect moves, she says “no” in a slew of languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese and Japanese. It’s a *chef’s kiss* of a note to end on, especially when she slaps an exclamation point on her sentiment in the form of a series of whistle-register runs.

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