“Honey” is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, released on July 29, 1997 as the lead single from her sixth studio album, “Butterfly.” The song was written and produced by Carey, Sean Combs, Kamaal “Q-Tip” Fareed and Steven “Stevie J” Jordan. The song samples “Hey DJ” by World-Famous Supreme Team and “The Body Rock” by the Treacherous Three. “Honey” was a redefining song in Carey’s career, pushing her further into the hip hop scene. “Honey” marked a significant turning point in Mariah Carey’s career as it showcased a new image and sound for the artist. The song incorporates elements of hip-hop and R&B, reflecting the prevailing trends in music during the late 1990s. Upon its release, “Honey” received critical acclaim and commercial success. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Mariah Carey’s twelfth number-one single at that time. It also reached the top ten in various other countries, further solidifying her status as a global superstar.
The song’s Bad Boy Remix features rap leads from Jadakiss and Styles P of The LOX (Sheek Louch, the third member, appears in the music video) and Mase, with some vocals rapped by Combs himself. The song’s So So Def Remix features rap leads from Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat.
The lyrics of “Honey” revolve around themes of freedom, independence, and empowerment. The song’s protagonist declares her desire to escape a suffocating relationship and find her own path, using the metaphor of “honey” to represent her newfound freedom. The music video for “Honey” is a lavish and action-packed visual spectacle, directed by Paul Hunter. It features Mariah Carey as a secret agent, embarking on a thrilling adventure to escape her captors and ultimately find freedom. The video’s high production values and Mariah’s glamorous appearance contributed to its appeal and memorability.
“Butterfly,” the album that “Honey” is from, represented a pivotal moment in Mariah Carey’s career as she took creative control and explored new musical directions. The album received critical acclaim and showcased Mariah’s growth as an artist and songwriter. Mariah Carey’s success continued throughout the late 1990s and beyond, with numerous chart-topping singles and critically acclaimed albums. Her influence on the music industry and her contributions to popular music have solidified her as one of the most influential and iconic artists of her generation. “Honey” remains a fan favorite and a classic in Mariah Carey’s discography, representing a significant chapter in her artistic journey. Its empowering lyrics, catchy melody, and stylish music video continue to resonate with audiences, making it a timeless and beloved song in the R&B and pop music landscape.