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Music by VICE

Mariah Carey's 'Obsessed' Is the Real Song of the Summer, Thanks to TikTok

Ten years later, the #ObsessedChallenge is breathing new life into the Mariah Carey classic.

by Kristin Corry
Aug 1 2019, 4:09pm

Screenshot of Mariah Carey TikTok, Screenshot of @Reesehardy7 TikTok

Mariah Carey's "Obsessed" originally appeared on 2009's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, but thanks to TikTok, it has a new life. In early July, TikTok user @Reesehardy7 posted an incredible video of herself crying while dancing to "Obsessed," which prompted a slew of comments that wondered what in the world was wrong. Weeks later, Hardy's video has over a million views, and it's brought the song back to the forefront, which means "Obsessed" has taken its place as the song of the summer, ten years after its release.

When inventive captions for the video got boring, people started recreating Hardy's moves in the #ObsessedChallenge. Carey, who is unusually good at Twitter, caught a glimpse of a sobbing teen dancing to the song. "Dancing and crying at the same time, more than I could do. Wipe them tears girl! #Obsessed," she tweeted. It seemed like Mimi was planning to get in on the fun too—until her car broke down on the way to Camp Mariah, a summer camp she started over two decades ago with a donation to the Fresh Air Fund. "There's this TikTok moment that's happening and I was hoping to get something with the kids at the camp today but I don't even know if it's going to happen," she said. In true Mariah fashion, she breaks out in song and partial dance, in the rain no less. "Now I'm screwing it up. I totally forgot it because we're in the middle of the street but I tried!"

TikTok is a powerful force on the streaming charts, evident in the success of "Old Town Road" and "The Git Up," both of which first become popular on the app. Now the #ObsessedChallenge is responsible for resurrecting a song from a decade ago. Could Mariah's attempt to capitalize on the buzz around the song (as she did for the #BottleCapChallenge) make "Obsessed" the true song of the summer? It feels like the perfect time to revive a song that was originally rumored to be a diss track aimed at Eminem, especially during the hip-hop gender wars sparked by Megan Thee Stallion's "hot girl summer."

Kristin Corry is a staff writer for VICE. Follow her on Twitter.