Calling Out of Context 3: Crazy Mariah

Posted on 28.02.2012


Why does Mariah mention George Foreman in Obsessed? -Stephanie G., Maryland

Great ears, m’lady, I didn’t even catch this the first time I heard the song. In fact, I generally haven’t bothered to listen really hard to Mariah’s lyrics since she went from ‘amazing new artist’ in the late-80’s/early 90’s to ‘certifiably off her rocker nutters’ circa the release ofButterfly in 1997.

Yes, yes, I know… that was when she finally had full control of her songwriting, production, etc. And that is exactly why there are releases titled Charm Bracelet. But since we’re not here to talk about how successful someone is (we’re discussing LYRICS in this column), I think we can all agree that more interesting lyrics could be written by a box of hair than by Mariah, these days, and move along to the question at hand.

This week’s topic is “Obsessed,” in which Mariah is supposedly striking back at Eminem for the track “Bagpipes from Baghdad,” wherein he spends a pretty decent amount of time telling Nick Cannon to back the hell up so he (Eminem) and Mariah can be together (O.o):

You on your job, you hatin’ hard
Ain’t gon’ feed you, I’ma let you starve
Gaspin’ for air, I’m ventilation
You out of breath, hope you ain’t waitin’

Tellin’ the world how much you miss me
But we never were, so why you trippin’
You a mom and a pop, I’m a corporation
I’m the press conference, you a conversation

Wow, really?
… yeah. That’s what she’s writing these days, a far cry from her much more grammatically correct, nay, almost poetic lyrics of the Emotionsdays. Not totally hating, just saying.

The line Stephanie picked up on happens around minute 3:20. Mariah is repeating her way through the chorus when we get this lyrical gem:

Why you all up in my George Foreman?

Hahahah. No really, it’s there. I can’t make this stuff up.

No, people, Mariah does NOT own Mr. George Foreman. I don’t think.

But she might own his Lean, Mean, Fat Reducing Grilling Machine (George Foreman Grill, short version), which is what she is alluding to. Nope, Eminem is most likely NOT hanging out in her kitchen on top of or IN the apparatus, but let’s discuss what that thing actually is: It’s a grill.

So what is a GRILL, when you live in 2010 America? It does happen serve as an indoor and outdoor cooking appliance, yes.

It’s also the front part of your car: that part that looks like a vent where you can get your hands dirty and lift the hood. It usually has the car company’s logo on it. You can buy special ones when you are doing after-market work to a car. You know, in case you have nothing better to waste tons of money on.

Finally, (and loosely referencing the car definition) the word serves as a synonym for Fronts or Golds, which are a large piece of jewelry (bling) worn over or on one’s teeth, made popular by some hip hop artists during the 2000’s. You might remember a particularly entertaining song from 2005 called Grillz from Nelly, Paul Wall, Big Gipp and Ali that has been cited as the official musical acknowledgement of the most often removable (but sometimes not) jewelry accessory. It’s important to note though that Grills were actually made popular in the 80’s, when artists like Flava Flav, Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane wore them the first time around.

And the Grill isn’t just a hip hop phenomenon either: Marilyn Manson and Travis Barker have BOTH been photographed rocking the Grill.

The American Dental Association states that no studies have shown whether the long term effects of wearing a Grill are positive or negative, but they do suggest that should you feel the need to wear one, that you should do so only sparingly. This is the suggestion especially if you opted for a more affordable Grill that is made from less-than sturdy metal. Apparently, some school districts have banned the wearing of Grills in the same way they have banned baggy jeans, oversized white t-shirts and red or blue bandanas.

Mariah herself doesn’t sport a Grill. If she did, I bet it would have a diamond butterfly appliqué somewhere on it. Or flowers. And she’d most DEF have a matching charm bracelet.

Why you all up in my grill? Has become the 2005 – present way of saying, ‘Why you all up in my face?’

So when Mariah sings, ‘Why you all up in my George Foreman?’ she is saying the same thing, without having to utter the actual word, Grill. Lyrically stunning, right?

Why do you care? Why are you so obsessed with her? I wanna know.