Mariah Carey. Sean “Diddy” Combs. A match made in heaven? You’ll have to tell me. Whether it was or not, it helped Mariah transition from the pop charts to hip-hop.
The morning groove for today is “Honey.” It’s the lead single from Mariah’s fifth album, Butterfly. Coming off the hit remix of her song “Fantasy”, which featured Old Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan, her songs began to take on more of a hip-hop feel. And nowhere was it more in evidence that Combs was producing this song, along with Carey, Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest) and Stevie J. (I believe Combs was involved in the production of the remix for “Fantasy” as well). At that time, he was sampling from older songs to make new ones, and for this track, he lifted from two old school hip-hop songs: “Hey DJ” by The Worlds Famous Supreme Team and “The Body Rock” by the Treacherous Three.
And it doesn’t take very long to hear where the influences are located. Within the first twenty-five seconds, you can hear pieces of both songs (the hook from “Hey DJ” is repeated throughout, while the synth bassline comes straight from “The Body Rock”). I have no complaint with either lift, and apparently neither did music fans in 1997. Mariah’s new direction garnered yet another number 1 pop hit, and a top two placing on the R&B charts. If the “Fantasy” remix was Mariah’s first turn to hip-hop, “Honey” made sure she was in that game to stay.
(I was listening to old (and I mean old) rap records from the early 80s before I wrote this post, which is how it came to be. The two old songs mentioned above, along with some others.)
First, The Worlds Famous Supreme Team from 1984 (though I’ve seen sampling credit on “Honey” go to Lighter Shade Of Brown’s song of the same name from 10(!) years later):
And then, “The Body Rock” by the Treacherous Three from 1980:
Enjoy the morning groove, and have a great Tuesday! And as always, thanks for reading and listening.