By: Papa Minnow
It’s been a minute since Jeremih (not Jeremiah) was on the scene. We last heard from him in 2016 when he announced the title of his upcoming album, Later That Night, and in that same year he went on his infamous tour with Toronto’s own PARTYNEXTDOOR.
Unfortunately, that tour turned into a disaster due to backstage conflicts, which left fans with disdain, and all hopes of a joint project between the two artists were dashed away. Summer 2017 saw Jeremih team up with Chris Brown and Big Sean on the track I Think Of You, which was nice, but it’s since been quiet for the R&B singer: until now.
Joe put me onto Forever I’m Ready and I was hooked.
The Chocolate Box EP swiftly followed, which contains four songs: Cards Right, SMTS, Forever I’m Ready, and Nympho. All four have a different feel that showcase Jeremih’s growth as an artist.
The infectious bop of a 90’s beat, along with Jeremih’s crooning on the intro Cards Right, encapsulates a nostalgic feel from childhood that’s so well done it would be impossible for this to not be a radio summer hit.
The hook, which features the lyrics,
You play your cards right, baby I’ll be ready to go (I’m ready to)
You play your cards right, baby I’ll be ready to go (yeah)
Now all I need is you all over (now all I need is you all over)
You play your cards right, baby I’ll be ready to go,
ropes the ballad together to ensure you can’t escape it’s grasp.
Conversely on the outro Nympho, which I felt was the weakest song on the EP, Jeremih tries his hand at a more modern day sound. The vocals are shaky and heavily autotuned which doesn’t lend well to Jeremih’s talent. It’s not the absolute worst and the second verse is better than the first, but in the end it comes off as a song that an everyday artist has done or is easily capable of doing, but Nympho is done to a lesser degree.
SMTS is where Jeremih gets into his artistic pocket. More lyrical than Cards Right and Nympho, on SMTS the 30-year old singer flows with such precision and elegance as if he’s guided by God’s hand on this NSFW lullaby.
There’s varying cadences throughout the song that go along with some very vivid and descriptive lyrics. Just on the intro alone he sings:
Playing for keeps, she bob on the beat
I tell her, “No teeth,” catch it before it get all on sheets
and those vocals hit on every beat as if they were delivered by a triangle player waiting for his cue to strike.
Forever I’m Ready follows up the first two hits on the EP and features samples from some 2Pac’s Keep Ya Head Up and H-Town’s Knockin’ Da Boots. From the moment you press play that nostalgia hits once again. It’s even more prevalent on the pre-hook where producer Flippa mixes in the old with the new.
She a bad girl, my RiRi, I’m a bad boy like Puffy
On this performance Jeremih displays his vocal ability and range by mixing some “rapping” and singing in his lyrical verses before bellowing out how he’s forever ready for his lady.
It’s a strong song and an even stronger body of work by the Chicago born artist. Every song is vastly different than the song that precedes it, but they all have their unique strengths.
It’s a good showing from Jeremih after such a long absence and it appears he’s poised to show us more this year.