You have to hand it to this divine empress of song. Nobody straddles the fine line between luxurious and tacky quite like Mariah Carey. You don’t need to check the receipts to know that she’s legit.
Mimi’s empowering urban jam didn’t exactly get everyone moist with excitement when it premiered a few weeks ago, but just like a lot of my fellow Lambs, I waited for the video before passing final judgement.
The age-old boxing match theme applied to ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ really hits home the song’s message of overcoming adversity. However, rather than letting you experience it in a raw Rocky Balboa-style treatment, the music video is rendered with a golden 1960s touch.
The opulence, the cinematic frames, the fucking yards of gold lamé that seem to disappear to nowhere on Mariah’s body – these are all signifiers of a typical Mimi clip where excess is celebrated and modesty scoffed. And you gotta love her for that!
The video’s director and Mariah’s full-time boo – Nick Cannon – thoroughly did ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ justice by honouring his wife’s fondness for extravagance. We’ve all seen Mariah try to do pedestrian-realness with ‘Through The Rain’ and, frankly, it scared the shit out of me to see her try to dress like us mere mortals.
Mariah Carey should never try to destroy the illusion of her grandeur – no, not even to get some “universal message of hope” across in one of her own videos. I think at this stage of her career, Mimi and her Lambs know how it works.
The formula for her videos are more or less: one part skimpy two piece, one part mega wind machine and fluttering of fingers, and some misguided portions of looking like Miss Universe parading evening wear like her life depended on it.
Seeing rappers Meek Mill and Rick Ross take up significant screen time in the first half of the video concerned me, just like their prominence on the track did.
However, you more than get your money’s worth towards the end when confetti’s raining on Mimi’s pageant queen diva pose and she’s steady punching the air like there was no Laila Ali.
This video is magnificent in every sense imaginable for a typical Mariah production. The only thing missing was a pair of giant flaming butterflies scorching up behind the boxing ring.
Mariah Carey‘s ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ has to date charted at #97 on the US Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Songs and #144 on the official UK Singles chart.
The much-favoured remixes (see Vintage Throwback Mix, Pulse Remix, Danny Verde Club Mix, Laidback Luke Extended Mix, The New Iberican League Club Mix) have scaled up to #42 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.