Migrate (song)

Migrate (song)
Song by Mariah Carey featuring T-Pain from the album E=MC²
Format Digital download
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 4:17
Label Island
Writer Mariah Carey, Nathaniel Hills, Faheem Najim, Balewa Muhammad
Producer Maraih Carey, Danja
E=MC² track listing
"Touch My Body"

"Migrate" is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, included as a track on her eleventh studio album, E=MC² (2008). Written by Carey, Nathaniel Hills, Faheem Najim, and Balewa Muhammad, and produced by the former two, the song draws influence from pop and R&B music genres. "Migrate" features American rapper T-Pain, and is based on an electronic thumping beat and many studio-crafted synthesizers, and makes use of auto-tune and several vocal processors. A strong club-beat driven track, its lyrics chronicle a night out for the protagonist, migrating from several locations including a club and hotel suite. Critics compared it to Carey's "It's Like That" for its club-themed beat, as well as its celebratory lyrics.

At the time of the album's release, "Migrate" was met with generally positive reviews, with many complimenting its strong club-beat and production, while some criticized its usage of auto-tune on Carey's voice. The song charted due to strong digital downloads in the United States during the debut week of E=MC², and as a result, peaked at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100, and appeared on several component charts. Carey performed the song live alongside T-Pain on Saturday Night Live, where she accompanied it with "Touch My Body", and on a BET special in promotion of the album in April 2008. Additionally, it was performed during the first show on Carey's Angels Advocate Tour (2009-10) stop at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve.



"Migrate" is a fast-paced tempo song, which draws influence from R&B and pop music genres. The song is built on a heavy electronic beat, and incorporates whistles and several studio-created synthesizers into its melody. Additionally, the song features the inclusion of auto-tune and several vocal manipulators, which are used heavily on both Carey and T-Pain's vocals. Written by Carey, Nathaniel Hills, Faheem Najim, and Balewa Muhammad, and produced by the former two, the song was described as a "club-banger" by several music reviewers. Sarah Rodman from The Boston Globe described it as "a frivolous, funky, self-referential jam, charts the flight patterns of your modern, fabulously talented urban diva",[1][2] while several took notice of its electronically crafted production.[3] Carey opens the song with several high notes in the whistle register, before repeating "bounce" several times as the beat kicks in.[4] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by W.B.M. Music Corporation, "Migrate" is set in common time with a tempo of 91 beats per minute.[5] It is composed in the key of G Minor, with Carey's vocal range spanning from the low-note of F3 to the high-note of E5.[5] The song follows in the chord progression of Bm7–Am7–Gmaj7[5] Lyrically, the song finds Carey during a night out, migrating from several locations: from the car to the club, from the bar to the V.I.P, from the party to the after-party, and finally to the hotel. According to Brian Hiatt from VH1, she "hops from "my car into the club ... from the bar to VIP ... from the party to the afterparty ... afterparty to hotel" with T-Pain, who urges her to "bounce, bounce, bounce."[6] In his review of the album, The New York Sun's Jayanthi Daniel described the song's lyrics and production:

"Migrate," a hip-hop track about conscious independence on which Ms. Carey sings about living her life without any attachments. Sung in sassy tones over a repeating, upbeat chorus, it's the kind of assured single one would expect from R. Kelly, who's known in no small part for his macho tendencies. "Migrate" displays a confident, social forwardness that is new to Ms. Carey, but it's one that she manages proudly. She's no longer looking for a "Dreamlover" to come and rescue her, as she did in 1993: In "Migrate," she's already rescued, and enjoying the after-party.[7]


Critical response

Cquote1.png As Carey's multi-octave voice has always been her calling card, the one thing that even her biggest critics have grudgingly acknowledged as her unassailable strength, this is a little odd -- especially on the T-Pain duet "Migrate," where she succumbs to auto-tune -- but it not only makes Mariah modern, it also camouflages her slightly diminishing range, so it does have a dual purpose."

"Migrate" was met with generally mixed reviews from music critics. While many complimented its strong beat and electronic production, some criticized its extensive usage of auto-tune. Nick Levine of Digital Spy felt Carey was "at her most diva-like" on the track, and described it as a "club tune".[9] Writer Even Sawdey from PopMatters was critical on the track's usage of vocal processors, writing "With a descending echo-synth carrying the song almost entirely by itself, Mariah’s voice gets thrown into countless vocoder filters, the whole thing coming off as a tepid and uninvolving attempt at a club anthem."[10] When discussing Carey's processed vocals, The Washington Post's Freedom De Luc wrote "a newly popular studio trick that needlessly distorts her greatest gift."[3]

The New York Times critic and writer, Ben Ratliff, compared it to Carey's "It's Like That" for its club-themed beat and message, while also giving the song a mixed review. He described Carey as not exciting, and said "T-Pain, who, despite all the auto-tuning, is more exciting here, in 'Migrate', than Ms. Carey; he runs off his verses with a lot more flexibility and swing. Her part is a questionably sexy act of concealment."[11] Daily News critic, David Hinckley, described the vocal effects as "a move more appropriate to stars who can't sing a lick", and questioned why Carey opted to use it.[12] Fred Boggard from The Sun was less critical, calling it a "titanic future crunk smash".[13] Writing for The Wichita Eagle, Mary Moore's review on the song was positive, outing it as a "an irresistible hip-hop groove that works".[14]

Chart performance

Due to the strong chart success of "Touch My Body", E=MC² opened with over 463,000 copies sold in its opening week, a career high for Carey.[15] During its opening week, "Migrate" charted at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 due to strong digital downloads.[16] Similarly, the song charted on several component charts, peaking at number 69 on the Pop 100, and at 95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[16]

Live performances

"Migrate" was performed on two televised appearances during her stateside promotion of E=MC². Only days prior to being released digitally, Carey was announced as the musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live, taking over for Janet Jackson who caught the flu and was unable to perform.[17] Hosted by Jonah Hill, Carey performed both "Touch My Body", as well as live rendition of "Migrate" alongside T-Pain.[18] Following the set, Carey and her manager at the time, Benny Medina, met with Lee Daniels, who then offered Carey a role in his film adaptation of Precious (2008), in which Carey would later star and earn acclaim for her acting.[19] Similarly, Carey reprised the performance on the BET special, titled "The Blueprint: The Relativity of Mariah Carey", in which she sang "Migrate", "Touch My Body", "Love Story" from E=MC², and "We Belong Together" from her previous album, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005).[20] On December 31, 2009, Carey opened her Angels Advocate Tour at Madison Square Garden, performing "Migrate" as the thirteenth number on the set-list.[21] During the recital, several male dancers, dressed in white suits, performed intricate routines around Carey, as she celebrated the countdown to the new year with the song.[21]

Credits and personnel

Credits for E=MC² adapted from the album's liner notes.[22]


Chart (2009) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 92
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[16] 95
US Billboard Pop 100[16] 69


  1. ^ Rodman, Sarah (2008-04-15). "Carey's Winning Formula". The Boston Globe (The New York Times Company). http://articles.boston.com/2008-04-14/ae/29274502_1_charts-beatles-mimi. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  2. ^ Brown, Tina (April 14, 2005). "Grand Dames". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51782-2005Apr13.html. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b De Luc, Freedom (2008-04-15). "Mariah Sticks to Known Equation". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/14/AR2008041403143.html. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  4. ^ Aquilina, Dan (2008-04-15). "Mariah's Upbeat and Setting Records". New York Post (News Corporation). http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/nypost/access/1462349371.html?dids=1462349371:1462349371&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Apr+15%2C+2008&author=DAN+AQUILANTE&pub=New+York+Post&desc=SINGLE+HER+OUT!+-+MARIAH'S+UPBEAT+AND+RECORD-SETTING&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  5. ^ a b c Mariah Carey (Composers and Lyricists) (2008). "Migrate: Mariah Carey Digital Sheet Music" (Musicnotes). Musicnotes.com. Alfred Music Publishing. MN0068511 (Product Number). http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/scorchVPE.asp?ppn=SC0093557. Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  6. ^ Hiatt, Brian. "Mariah Carey Album Preview: E=MC² Is Focused On Fun, But Mimi Is At Her Best When She's Keeping It Real". VH1. Viacom. http://www.vh1.com/artists/news/1584685/20080402/carey_mariah.jhtml. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  7. ^ Daniel, Jayanthi (2008-04-16). "Mariah Carey Solves Equation". The New York Sun (Ronald Weintraub). http://www.nysun.com/arts/mariah-carey-solves-the-equation/74732/. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (April 12, 2008). "((( E=MC² > Overview )))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/album/emc2-r1340529/review. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Levine, Nick (2008-03-31). "Mariah Carey: 'E=MC²'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. http://www.digitalspy.com/music/albumreviews/a93892/mariah-carey-emc2.html. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  10. ^ Sawey, Evan (May1, 2008). "Mariah Carey: E=MC² < Reviews". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/mariah-carey-emc2. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ Ratliff, Ben (2008-04-16). "New CDs". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/arts/music/14choi.html. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  12. ^ Hinckley, David (2008-04-04). "Maraih Carey's Bland Ambition Patently Obvious". Daily News (Mortimer Zuckerman). http://articles.nydailynews.com/2008-04-15/entertainment/17896459_1_songs-bryan-michael-cox-sounds. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  13. ^ Swift, Jacqui (2008-04-10). "My Dog Has A Bigger Ego". The Sun (News International). http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/sftw/article1026793.ece. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  14. ^ Moore, Mary (2008-04-20). "E=MC² is a Hit; Mariah Carey Proves She's Still Deserving of Her Pop Princess Title". The Wichita Eagle (The McClatchy Company). http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=WE&s_site=kansas&p_multi=WE&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=12040CB1A9DDDD70&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  15. ^ McKay, Hollie (2008-04-03). "Mariah Carey Surpasses Elvis in No. 1s". Fox News. News Corporation. http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Apr03/0,4670,MusicMariahCarey,00.html. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "Mariah Carey Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/mariah-carey/chart-history/48340?f=379&g=Singles. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  17. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (2008-03-13). "Mimi Set To Replace Janet On 'SNL'". Newsday (Cablevision). http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/newsday/access/1444707471.html?dids=1444707471:1444707471&FMT=CITE&FMTS=CITE:FT&type=current&date=Mar+13%2C+2008&author=Glenn+Gamboa&pub=Newsday+(Combined+editions)&desc=Mimi+set+to+replace+Janet+on+'SNL'&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  18. ^ Reger, Adam (2008-03-13). "Health Malfunction: Carey Subs For Jackson On 'SNL'". Press-Telegram (MediaNews Group). http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=LB&p_theme=lb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=11F6F3EACB3B4268&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  19. ^ Friedman, Roger (2008-04-03). "Paul McCartney Wins, Heather Mills Loses". Fox News. News Corporation. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,338548,00.html. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  20. ^ "Mariah Mania". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Company). 2008-03-13. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/1462662301.html?dids=1462662301:1462662301&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Apr+15%2C+2008&author=Anonymous&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=MARIAH+MANIA&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  21. ^ a b Gamboa, Glenn (2008-03-13). "Maraih Carey Throws Grand Madison Square Garden Party". Newsday (Cablevision). http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music/backstage-pass-1.811987/mariah-carey-throws-grand-madison-square-garden-party-1.1679599. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  22. ^ Carey, Mariah (2008). Album notes for E=MC² (Liner Notes) by Mariah Carey [Compact Disc]. New York City, New York: Island Records.

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