Friday, December 18th, 2020

Honey Dijon ft. Hadiya George – Not About You

We really do have time for this…


[Video][Website]
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Leah Isobel: 2020 has been a series of cascading disasters, each one preventable, each one from a seed that was sown long ago. A pandemic partially created and exacerbated by climate change; the everyday threat to public safety posed by a militarized police force in a racist nation; political gridlock created by long-term erosion of trust in the government and in each other. In another time I would have found relief from these anxieties on a sweaty dancefloor, alone in a crowd of people. In These Uncertain Times, I can’t do that, but I find myself gravitating towards dance music anyway. I miss the feeling that I’m united with others for one purpose, that we’re allies and we belong in the same place. I miss the warmth that bodies can create with each other. Over the summer, “Not About You” reminded me of that feeling; now it’s winter, but the song’s percussive sizzle and thwap could melt the snow outside. Its nagging insistence — the repetition of the vocal hook; the bassline pacing back and forth like it can barely stay contained; the slightly-too-fast BPM despite the shouted interjections to slow dooooown — nudges me out of malaise. Here as elsewhere, house music’s looping structures are a conduit for unity. Every beat, every measure, is a chance to step into the groove and become part of the energy of the song. If change is coming, it has to be made collectively, on virtual dancefloors and in the streets and through concerted action. It’s not about you or me — it’s about the form our relationship takes and what we can do when we’re empowered by community. The point is sung over and over: it’s about us.
[9]

Juana Giaimo: I hated going dancing as a teenager because I always felt too intimidated by the people around me and too ashamed about my lame body-moves. “Not About You” reminds me of the time I realized that the best way to dance is simply not caring. That infectious house rhythm and the funk disco vibes in Hadiya George’s vocals should be enough for me to simply give in to music. I’m still the kind of person who prefers quieter evenings, but “Not About You” makes me miss dancing and sweating on a dancefloor surrounded by strangers.
[7]

Alfred Soto: A solid house trick whose communalism doesn’t gall. 
[6]

Thomas Inskeep: A great, if simple, ’90s-retro house track with a well-matched vocal, whose only real fault is that it’s too short. This is aching for a seven-minute extended remix.
[7]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: After a certain point I will get tired of house-pop bangers in the lineage Honey Dijon is operating in. Not today, though! “Not About You” keeps the formula fresh enough — after Dijon lays down the drum and vocal patterns that make up the basal layer of the track, she takes plenty of time to get weird, running electric piano lines through the heart of the track, and endlessly shifting the beat in the second half, taking a few seconds to remove the drums entirely. All along, Hadiya George is a worthy accomplice, sing-talking her way through it in a way that elevates the boilerplate of the lyrics. It’s still a cliche house banger, but it’s a fun enough spin on the cliches to be worth your while.
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: The targeted disdain of “Your Biggest Fan” Marie Davidson, turned into a carefree banger, with Willy Wonka amounts of production candy.
[9]

Crystal Leww: Over the last few decades, dance music has evolved from culture to entertainment and with that shift, those who stand visibly at the forefront — and profit heavily from its monetization —  have turned out to largely be white cis bros, despite its Black queer origins. Honey Dijon is often held up as the example by the more woke crowd as the One Queer Black Woman that they know about. While it’s infuriating that she seems to be the only one, it’s hard to be mad that folks would like her — she is a really fucking good DJ. “Not About You” is a reminder that house music is Black queer music. It’s as much political statement as it is a track to fill dance floors with. By itself, I am not certain that I’d smash repeat, but Honey Dijon has been around dance music far longer than the concept has been about the drop anyway. Somewhere in the middle of a three hour set, “Not About You” would absolutely keep my hips moving. It’s not surprising at all that I prefer the Extended Mix of this.
[6]

John Seroff: It isn’t about me (and not about you) but — especially in this immensely stupid era when everyone acts like they have a god-given right to do anything they want without repercussions — there’s nothing wrong with an occasional reminder that getting out of the way of someone else’s real and meaningful good time doesn’t mean you can’t learn something in the process. No one wants to stop you from enjoying what you hear from outside the club. That’s often more than enough.
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