The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Three Tracks That Prove Jeremih Is Repping Chicago Harder Than Ever

By Chicagoist_Guest in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 6, 2016 3:18PM

photo via facebook

By Quinten Rosborough

Power 92 turns 15 this year, and to celebrate, the Chicago hip-hop station has put together "Celebrate Chicago," a showcase of the city’s bubbling rap scene at the Chicago Theatre. Headlined by Chance the Rapper and hosted by Da Brat, the show will feature a special guest whose identity remains a mystery. We at Chicagoist have a guess, though, based on a recent run of collaborations with local artists—two of whom who will performing at Friday’s showcase—from a Chicago singer who may or may not have penned 2009’s “Birthday Sex.”

Since that first monster single, Jeremih has established himself as a trendsetter, with his 2012 mixtape Late Nights with Jeremih introducing the world to R&B that goes off as well in the club as it does in the bedroom. From there, PartyNextDoor's self-titled EP became the archetype of Drake’s “OVO Sound” and Rihanna’s #1 single “Work”; Bryson Tiller’s Trapsoul continued to be one of hip-hop’s top-selling albums; and recent projects from BeyoncĂ©, Tinashe and Zayn Malik have all tried, with varying success, blending bedroom vocals with booming kicks and rolling hi-hats.

Recently, as his label awkwardly rolled out 2015’s Late Nights: The Album (not to be confused with the 2012 mixtape of a similar name), Jeremih has kicked off a new trend: making his signature brand of bedroom bangers with up-and-coming Chicago artists. He’s a native Chicagoan himself, too; Jeremih grew up on the South Side, and made “Birthday Sex” while he was a student at Chicago’s Columbia College. Between his Chicago roots and the sheer Chicago-ness of his recent tracks, it’s hard to believe he won’t be at the Power 92 show. He’ll at least be there in spirit, if these three singles are any indication.

Sicko Mobb ft. Jeremih, “Expensive Taste”

You might not know Sicko Mobb by name, but I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard “Fiesta,” their West Side bop anthem, coming out of a car stereo at some point over the last two years. On “Expensive Taste,” Lil Ceno and Lil Trav are as catchy as ever, with the song’s arpeggio-infused polish sounding like a bonus stage for the DIY-sound of their earlier projects. A Sicko Mobb mixtape is the last place I expected to hear a Jeremih hook, but after hearing him adopt Ceno and Trav’s sing-song flow, I’m wondering what took so long.

Katie Got Bandz ft. Jeremih and Chi Hoover, “Make Me Rich”

Chicago’s Katie Got Bandz had a hit on her hands with 2013’s "Pop Out," and while that track didn't cross over nationally, “Make Me Rich,” from her most recent mixtape Drillary Clinton 3, just might. I first heard “Make Me Rich” in a midday mix by Power 92’s DJ AMPM (who along with DJ Pharris is a must-listen every time she hits the airwaves), and the track is currently in heavy rotation on both Chicago rap stations. A song this simple—just undulating 808s and a handclap—shouldn’t go this hard, but Katie, Jeremih and Hoover take turns inventing ridiculous flows on this one, making it the weirdest song on the radio. And that’s a very, very good thing. You can see Katie performing at Friday’s showcase, and look for “Make Me Rich” to set the concert off.

Dreezy ft. Jeremih, “Body”

As talented a rapper as she is a singer, the music industry took notice of Dreezy after her remix of Lil Herb’s “Chiraq” in 2014. The South Side artist is set to blow up this summer, with her hit “Body” steadily climbing Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts. Produced by Bloodpop, the same guy who made Justin Beiber’s “Sorry,” “Body” might be just as catchy—and Jeremih’s contributions to the hook lend the track some much-needed sultriness. Like Katie Got Bandz, Dreezy will also be performing at Celebrate Chicago Friday, and with her major label debut coming later this year, her stock is about to rise in a major way.

You can follow Quinten Rosborough on Twitter.