George Michael Listen Without Pr 272983

(Editor’s note: It’s time to bring back the Summer Songs after two seasons off. Our first guest is Moe Choi aka DJ Choimatic. I’ve known Moe for years, back when he was a big presence in the NY hip-hop club scene but in more recent years, Moe has branched out into everything from swanked-out weddings to Fashion Week runway shows to, you know, DJing parities on the roof of The Met. He’s got Billy Danze’s number on speed dial and the inside lane on YSL couture; that’s how he rolls. For his summer song post, Moe takes it back to ’90 and the era of the Wu-Tang Super Models. –O.W.)

George Michael: Freedom 90
From Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (Columbia/Epic, 1990)

I lived with cousins for a summer when I was a kid. I credit a lot of my musical taste and knowledge to my cousin Eugene, who is 4 years older then me. He was up on The Smiths, Prince, Lightning Seeds, New Order, George Michael etc. and as a kid, I gravitated to his tastes on some “cooler, older lord” tip and that included “Freedom 90.”

I watched this video over and over as a kid especially since it set off my Linda Evangelista obsession. This was the era of the super models clique…Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford, aka the “we don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day” crew. To have all these breezys at the top of their game, in the same video, was some next level ish: they were the Wu-Tang Clan of the Model Game (with Linda as GZA. To this day, she is still my favorite model). I discovered “sexy” in music for the first time through “Freedom 90.” Fast forward to 2013, it still holds the weight. It’s aged magnificently.

It’s also my all-time favorite flip of “Funky Drummer” (sorry hip-hop purists).1 Sonically, the way the piano glides atop the drum loop is some amazing shit.

Also, as a working DJ, this is one of those cuts that I can play at almost any gig. It’s safe enough to run at a corporate function and sexy enough for a fashion event. You can easily drop this in a club setting or a secret, after-hours loft party. The build-up and chorus is epic to run as the last song at a wedding yet it’s not overplayed like Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” Black people, white people, Asian people, straights, gays, bisexuals, asexuals…everyone seems to melt when I throw this on. The energy, vibe, nostalgia this song invokes is magic. In other words, it’s the perfect summer song.

Big shout to Lauren Stout, Jenny Mac, Ise White, Nuna Kim, Natalie Blacker, Courtney Warco, Madonna, The Statue of Liberty & all the other fly womens in my life. Y’all form my super model clique. [insert jukebox explosion scene here]

P.S. I got 3 of them t-shirts.

Written by Moe Choi

  1. I’m also not mad at “Mantronix’s “Fresh is the Word”.”