With Mariah having a new album out and me wondering when folk are going to stop being petty and give me Namie's discography on streaming, my mind went straight to one of my favourite TV moments, which is when Mariah Carey's was in Japan promoting her 2005 comeback album The emancipation of Mimi. This was still at a time when US pop artists actually bothered to promote their shit in Japan, something which doesn't seem to happen much now. Japan is the second biggest music market in the world, but promoting there when you can't speak the language is a struggle. And as this instance with Mariah proves, can yield awkwardness like a motherfucker if you're not willing to play along with it all and you have a translator who isn't translating everything. (Bitch. What were you even doing!?)
Japanese TV shows such as Utaban have NO chill. This is not the show you go on if you just wanna be chill, passive, talk about your CD only and then keep it moving. These guys will TRY YOU whether you can speak Japanese or not. They are equal opportunity trolls for hosts. Something that Mariah caught onto in what was a card deck full of 'moments'.
Mariah being Mariah, she wasn't really here for this interview and you can tell she didn't want to do it. Despite her already being a living legend at this point and having already created a legacy; The emancipation of Mimi being her big comeback record after two under-performing albums didn't afford her the luxury of skipping promo. But her directness, borderline rudeness and constant state of 'What the fuck am I even doing on this shit?' made for great TV. Even at the expense of completely embarrassing Namie Amuro.
Mariah walking straight onto the set, not greeting anybody, sitting down straight away and then taking Namie Amuro's chair set the tone for everything that followed.
Me. I am embarrassed.
This iconic TV moment was probably the fork in it for Namie and the point when she told herself 'I can't keep doing this shit'. So we can single-handedly thank Mariah Carey for giving Namie the sign that she needed to step out of doing television appearances.
It's honestly a shame that the language barrier and Namie's shyness put such wall up between Mariah and Namie, because they were both share career parallels and were probably thinking the exact same thing; 'Girl, ain't this some bullshit?'. The hosts were a mess and Namie knew it. Mariah knew it too. Namie seemed on edge in Mariah's presence, but mostly seemed embarrassed for the hosts, because she could read the room and the awkwardness and just wanted to go the fuck home and not be a part of it.
But Namie's attempt at invisibility didn't stop Mariah from giving her an 'Aww' style tap on the arm and telling her that she'd get a free copy of her album. Now, whilst Mariah giving out copies of her CD may seem pretentious because...it's Mariah. This is a bit of a tradition on Japanese TV shows between pop stars. But the way in which Mariah told Namie she wouldn't have to buy a copy and gave her that shoulder tap, chile... I felt types of ways. I wanted to zap a Portal gun in front of Namie and tell a bitch to jump through it into oblivion, where she won't have to feel the awkwardness that she's been feeling for the past 15 minutes and 3 seconds. Namie's face...
- Why dis bitch touch me?
- Gurl, I can afford to buy my own copy.
- Bitch, I don't listen to your music. (Even though she fully does).
- What is even this existence!?
Mariah really had no idea who Namie Amuro was. Funny in hindsight, considering the trajectory that Namie's career started to take from this point on and where Mariah's career has been at for the past 10 years.
Mariah acting as she did in this interview was no surprise. This encounter says far more about Namie Amuro than anything. Everything about her body language showed that she didn't feel comfortable being there and that she was intimidated by Mariah's presence. Which is crazy because...she's fucking Namie Amuro. Of course, she wasn't as the apex of the third wind of her career that she would ascend to upon the release of Best fiction. But she'd still broken records and had an amazing career up till this point. But she's still humble as fuck, quiet and not seeing herself as the star that she is. Even the host were trying to give Namie her dues by telling Mariah who she is. Not that Mariah cared. But, they damn well tried.
Given that Caution landed on the Oricon album chart at number 30, Mariah's people may wanna fly her back out to Japan for some promo and gift her a copy of Finally.
Reviews of Namie's shit: Play | Past < Future | Uncontrolled | Feel | _genic | Finally
Reviews of Mariah's shit: Glitter | E=MC² | Memoirs of an imperfect angel | Caution
Random J Pop Mariah Carey playlists: It's Mariah, dahling | Mariah Carey featuring...
Random J Pop Namie playlists: 🚫 A bitch isn't on streaming platforms