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Released: 2017

“Honey” by Kehlani is a deeply intimate examination of love dynamics, with a candid lens on the singer’s personal preferences and experiences. This tender track explores the complexity of romantic relationships – love as a sweet, sometimes self-centered journey that thrives in its imperfect beauty.

In the opening lines, “I like my girls just like I like my honey sweet / A little selfish / I like my women like I like my money green / A little jealous”, Kehlani is forthright about her attraction towards women. Her references to honey and money are symbolisms used to depict her fondness for sweetness and value in a relationship. The selfishness and jealousy she mentions hint at the raw, flawed yet fascinating aspects of love.

Describing herself as a “beautiful wreck / A colorful mess, but I’m funny”, Kehlani exposes her vulnerabilities. Despite her past heartbreaks (being a “heartbreak vet”), she embraces her imperfections and acknowledges her charismatic nature (“I’m charming”). This poignant self-awareness makes this emotionally rich anthem even more relatable.

The recurring chorus, “All the pretty girls in the world / But I’m in this space with you / Colored out the lines / I came to find, my fire was fate with you”, exhibits the exclusivity and intensity of her relationship. Amidst all potential distractions (“all the pretty girls in the world”), she chooses her partner. The coloring outside the lines metaphor suggests a relationship that defies the norms, fuelled by a destined bond (“my fire was fate with you”).

As the track progresses, Kehlani depicts nominal scenarios where her lover would wait for her, affirming her faith in their commitment, be it going to a bar or a star-studded gathering. Cells of steadfast loyalty like this only consolidate the raw, realistic picture of relationships that Kehlani paints in “Honey”.

The song concludes with melodic humming, an endearing, simple display of affection. In between, she verbalizes “Isn’t love all we need? Is it love? / The Beatles say prophecy is love / Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti, is it love?” Here, Kehlani considers love as a universal requirement and possibly the ultimate prophesy, as hinted by the reference to The Beatles. The solfège syllables (“Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti”) perhaps symbolize love as a beautiful tune that resonates with all.

“Honey” is a textured exploration of love, embodying the bitter and sweet, the easy and complex. Through it, Kehlani asserts her views, fears, and hopes about relationships in a refreshingly frank and charming style.

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