I was deeply excited, like many other fans to read about Carey’s new memoirs. Actually, ever since I entered college ten years ago, I had been praying for the release of an autobiography followed by a collection of demo tapes from the 1990s or even footage. Well, my prayers would be answered ten years later. It was good to be a Carey fan in 2020 and a good opportunity to get into the past. When it comes to my favorite artists, whether Michael Jackson, Prince or even Chaka Khan, I am always interested in the old stories, the old footage, the behind the scenes. What is the mechanisms behind their greatness and excellence? How do their practice? What about their failures or their inspiration behind a song they wrote? Unfortunately, when alive, the media were too obsessed with destroying his character that few “journalists” would ask Jackson about his process of creativity. Yet, contrary to my early beliefs, the long awaited memoirs by Carey were a disappointment, in the style, literature and the depth. If Carey considers this piece to be the results of a deep work on herself, I would call it lazy on many levels.
The past: Allison, Morgan, the Mother and the lack of introspection
As an author myself, it is true, I must confess, that I had the privilege to be taught classes of literature. If many of my peers found them to be boring -it was in the beginning-, I finally discovered a deep passion for the study of characters. Some French authors such as Emile Zola for instance, would spend years developing them, writing them down on endless papers, trying to imagine and capture the essence of their personalities, their failures, their burdens, their past, their flaws or beauty. For the literary series of the Rougon-Macquart which follows the life of two families in the mid 19th century, Zola went to extreme measures and released one of his best works ever. A character can often symbolyze an era, a political thought, a cultural movement, stand on his own to convey a deep message and is never there by chance.
Over the past twenty years, Carey, it is no secret, has been feuding with her sister Allison. Now a drug addict and a prostitute with no teeth and health issues, I was more intrigued by the latter than Mariah herself. I was eager to understand, through Mariah, why Allison would turn the way she did. Among the other fans, thoughts regarding jealousy and envy would be mentioned. Yet, no word written by Mariah in the book and even in interviews given before and after could explain the brutal experience endured by Allison. Just like any Carey child, Allison was a very beautiful mixed woman. Her life didn’t derail from an early age only because she was biracial and white-passing. Not all biracials end up in prostitution and drug addiction. Something worst clearly happened to her. However, even if Mariah blames her throughout the book, I was always struck by Allison’s body and face. Both are broken, shattered, destroyed and devastated. The contrast with Mariah is alarming. A woman can not damage her own appearance and torture her own body unless the mental issues inside of her are burning her soul like crazy.
The book lacks true introspection from Mariah Carey herself who is never wrong. And in this way, Morgan (her older brother), Allison, Patricia Carey -her mother- and Tommy Mottola are not given a chance. They are automatically introduced as antagonists from the get go and this doesn’t make any sense at all. Neither Mariah nor Michaela Angela Davis want to dig into the real motives which made them feel bitter. The only explanation would be centered around Mariah, as usual. According to her, Allison became who she is out of jealousy for her little sister’s light skin and blonde hair. Morgan used to beat Patricia up and be extremely violent yet, no one wants to explain the real motives behind such behavior. In the book, Mariah wants to give herself a voice, presents herself as being superior to the last two because she remained focused on her music and dedication. In reality, all three are the same and Mariah is not superior to Allison. Actually, Allison is the demon Carey attempts to flee from for she refuses to face her own issues. If Allison struggles with drug addiction Mariah does too. She self-medicates and is addicted to alchohol, all the while being bipolar. She just has more money to hide the demons behind a glossy image.
If Allison was extremely cruel towards her, as she attempted to pimp Mariah out to older men when she was only 12, and while Carey paints herself as the only victim blaming anybody else, it seems like the readers have no rights to have compassion for both Morgan and Allison at all. They are the evil, hostile brother and sister, who want to hurt her and attack her at all costs. Yet, they had a past too, they had their own troubles too and if explained, this could have allowed the reader to forgive them. As cruel as it can be, if the allegations made by Allison in the summer 2020 regarding her mother pimping her out to older men during satanic rituals were to be proven as true, then this could explain why Allison wanted, at some point, to damage Mariah like she had been by her own mother at the age of 12 as well. The psychology behind Allison’s motives are never explained when she was one of the key factors in Carey’s early life.
Yet, as we keep reading the book one realises that the real antagonist would neither be Morgan or Allison but the mother herself. If Mariah recognises that her brother and sister were already damaged before she came into the world, she doesn’t seem to have any form of compassion for them at all. Children would not behave a certain way, being agressive or jealous of someone else, unless the parents had opened their door that said spirit of division. Patricia is, upon reading Carey’s testimony, the real evil force. Yet again, Mariah is not impartial, and though she blames her mother constantly, she still sides with her and throws the two other victims under the bus to save her face. Morgan is introduced as extremely violent however, she barely acknowledges that he deeply contributed to the beginning of her career. Actually, there would be NO Vision of Love and 1990 success without Morgan. The latter was the one to have introduced Carey to Ben Margulies her first co-composer before Walter Afanassief.
It is clear that Patricia Carey favored Mariah over the two she literally abandoned emotionally. Once again, Carey writes about Allison and their father being bounded in their shared hatred for Patricia. However, she fails to clarify that that could have been a cry for help from Allison who also wanted to feel loved and appreciated by her own mother. Her life was a tragedy from the beginning and though she could not find solace in her broken home she tried to find it elsewhere, in the streets and in the arms of men at the age of fifteen. This is the tale of a victim of society and a broken home, not of a vicious psychopath who would be born that way. Patricia damaged her own family and never treated her children equally. Such behavior would therefore explain so much tension. The mother was not only neglectful, she also let Carey on her own dealing with the different men of her mom. It seems like Patricia’s world only evolved around her love life, her failed singing career and Mariah. The two other kids simply do not exist. Mariah knew she was privileged by her mom and still refuses to admit it, blaming the others for her failure when they too, deserved to be loved and protected. There is a clear manipulation of the characters in the book and a clear intention to elevate some at the expense of others.
Mariah doesn’t know how to structure her ideas
One other issue I found with the book is Mariah’s inability to focus and the lack of risks taken by Angela Davis. Carey is not an author but Davis knows how to structure a book. Several parts of the piece were rushed. As a fan, I was not only waiting for some psychological explanations but I wanted to be immersed into the artistic drive and mechanisms of 1980s to 1993 Mariah. I was expecting to hear more about the demos, how did she find the inspiration to write such and such lyrics, how did she learn about mastering etc and that part, that crucial part of the late 80s and 90s was rushed when we, the hard core fans, wanted to know more about it.
Davis failed to push Mariah to the edge. The length of the book is too short and can not contain the story of Mariah. Actually, if Carey had collaborated with another person, that single book it terms of length would have contained her childhood until about 1993. Carey did deserve to write two tomes: from 1970 to 1993 and 1998 til present. An artist like her deserved more work. Yet again, laziness and lack of discipline tarnished such concept.
In many moments throughout the book, Mariah begins with an idea and then stops to talk about trivial things. She wastes her time reminiscing about fashion details and superficial elements instead of focusing on her depth. She could write ten pages about the pink nails of her Italian-American co-workers in the 80s instead of focusing on the real issue. Carey is not focused, is all over the place, does NOT listen and has no discipline and structure. She believes everything needs to be festive inside her bubble yet, writing a book, such as a memoir, requires the most. And she was not ready for that.
In the summer, Allison Carey made other allegations regarding their mother Patricia and even sued her for having submitted her to sexual abuse in her childhood. Back in 2011, I remember, Allison was already complaining about having been sexually abused at the age of 3 by family friends and never went on. Yet, the 2020 lawsuit was barely mentioned by American media who definitely favored Carey. It is true that Allison is a mysterious woman who did sell lies for money to the press. However, I do believe her and this could explain the brutality marked on her fractured body. No normal and mentally healthy child would turn like her unless she had been submitted to some kind of abuse in some way.
In the book, one detail caught my attention and other lambs did find it irrelevant, way too obsessed with the shade thrown at Jennifer Lopez and others. At some point, in the early chapters, Mariah describes how Allison would make her sing a song by Jefferson Airplaine called White Rabbit. The bizarre song is about drugs and occult symbolism a seven year old kid should not be singing. Yet, one night, around midnight, Allison went to wake Mariah up and prepared her to sing the tune in the living room. It was dark, and people would be sitting in circle around Carey, who was also surrounded by candles as well. Both Allison and Patricia would be watching her perform the song. That ceremony would be brushed off by Carey in the book who would only refer to it as being weird.
Yet, it was clearly an initiation into the occult and a satanic ceremony. That was another form of sacrifice through which the youth had to be corrupted. Patricia Carey probably was involved in pagan-satanic rituals as she, also, was a part of the music industry as an opera singer. It is more than probable that she would devote Mariah to gods as a child to either inherit from her success or live through her as she failed her own opera singing career to get married. I am still surprised that nobody ever highlighted that part which I still find frightening. If so, it is more than probable that Patricia also involved Allison into the occult before Carey was even born.
As a resumé I would say that the book had fresh moments, but it truly lacked depth and work. Davis failed to guide Mariah who doesn’t want to listen but would rather spend her time writing about trivial issues such as makeup, nails, shoes and fashion. I found it really sad for the brother and sister who will never get the chance to be forgiven or to nurture compassion in the eyes of the readers. I call the book an act of disinformation and a manipulative tabloid report. It is no memoirs.
VKY, All Rights Reserved