Earlier today, New York City hailing producer DJ Cassidy released a new track called “Honor” and it’s genuinely one of the heartrending songs of the season. The track features lush vocals from singer Grace and some surprisingly heartfelt verses from hip-hop rising star Lil Yachty. In it, Grace expresses some serious doubts about being in a less than fulfilling relationship. Conversely, Yachty expounds about the depth of the feelings he has for the love of his life whom he stupidly let slip away. The whole familiar but affecting melodrama plays out over one of DJ Cassidy’s best pop-funk instrumentals.
The reason the track subverts expectations. In recent years, the “bored with an underwhelming romance” theme has been the domain of artists like Drake and The Weeknd. With “Honor,” Grace is the disaffected lover while Yachty tackles on the needier, more emotional overwhelmed role. Notably, there’s no attempt by Yachty to deny blame, illicit undeserved pity or denigrate his ex; just lots of painful emotional honesty and vulnerability. For a mainstream rapper in 2017, that’s a very progressive and provocative position to take.
“Honor” is only the latest example of DJ Cassidy’s remarkable talent and impeccable taste. His first single was the delightful 2014 funk-disco song, “Calling All Hearts,” which features appearances from British songstress Jessie J and American R&B artist Robin Thicke. He followed that up with the sublime Chromeo collaboration “Future is Mine” the following year and the fantastic dance-pop song “Kill the Lights,” which showcases the talents producer Alex Newell, singer-songwriter Jess Glynne and legendary guitarist Nile Rodgers.