House music never went out of style, but not everybody knows about its culture, its history, or even its existence—and a legion of those newbies fell for house this year, thanks to new dance-oriented albums from superstars Drake and Beyoncé. The latter recruited figures from across house history for Renaissance, including Chicago native Honey Redmond, better known as Honey Dijon. She’s been spinning records for nearly a quarter century and part of the scene for even longer—she recently told the New York Times that she snuck into the Muzic Box, the 80s club where Ron Hardy reigned, at age 13. When she moved to New York City in the late 90s, she carried the imprint of the first couple waves of Chicago house, and over the decades to come, her DJ skills made her an international phenomenon. Classic Chicago house—with its effusive melodies, its joyous queerness, and its welcoming euphoria—is all over Dijon’s second album, November’s Black Girl Magic (Classic Music Company). Sleek, urbane keys and light-on-its-feet electronic percussion root the album’s insistent pulse, creating a magical elixir that can persuade you any surface is a dance floor. Black Girl Magic foregrounds vocals, and Dijon has recruited a panoply of guests (including Compton rapper Channel Tres and Ruff Ryders affiliate Eve) whose every ringing syllable lets everyone who’s listening know they’re welcome to the party. I’m a sucker for “C’s Up,” where Chosen Few member Mike Dunn invites you to take a trip on Lake Shore Drive, delivering his lines in a low, sultry rumble that promises thrills he can’t even describe; it’s a reminder that the journey Dijon took to become a global dance ambassador began in Chicago.
Honey Dijon DJ Heather and Shaun J. Wright open. Sat 12/17, 11:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, $35 at the door, sold out online, 21+