Jeremih Talks Being Hip-hop’s “Hook Master,” Reveals Details on New Mixtape
His voice is everywhere. From Diggy to 50 Cent, Jeremih has cut tracks with many of music fans’ favorite rappers, remaining relevant on the airwaves in spite of the two-year lull since his last solo release.
Last week, XXL took a look at Jeremih’s success as a featured guest on some of rap’s best-charted singles, nicknaming him the “Undercover Hookmaster.” Now, in an interview with XXL, the “Birthday Sex” singer offered his thoughts on why he’s become hip-hop’s go-to featured artist.
“When I go in the studio, I think I would say my voice has a range, a variety of sounds I know I can do with my voice,” the crooner said about what sets him apart from other popular hook dudes. “Simplicity is key and I think my voice is quite simple, you know.”
While ‘”simple” is the word he uses to describe his tenor, the response to Jeremih’s vocals and lyrical ability – he freestyles many of his verses – is anything but. In the past year alone he has been tapped by some of hip-hop’s hottest emcees including the likes of Wale, Meek Mill, Travis Porter and more and fans and critics alike are taking notice. His “feel good” approach to music has earned him a host of top charting singles. In fact, by way of his collaborations, the singer has had more number one hits than rap legend and label mate Jay-Z.
“I was told even last week from Def Jam that Jay-Z, you know, I got more number one records than Jay-Z,” he sheepishly admitted. “And not to say that to even brag, but like he been out for so long and I’m a huge fan of Jay-Z, but to think about the statistics, like, the numbers don’t lie.”
Still, in spite of Jeremih’s success as a guest artist, fans have to wonder what’s next for the singer’s solo career. Although, he hasn’t released a solo album since 2010’s All About You, Jeremih is optimistic and grateful for his longevity in the game and would like to put more focus on his solo ventures.
“I feel like it’s a plus to be able to work with artists such as Meek Mill, Wale and even Diggy Simmons just to see the versatility,” he said. “But after a while I don’t want to be like, not like T-Pain, but, you know, doing shows full of hooks, you know what I’m saying? It’s not that cool. So, over the next year, just look forward to original work from myself and hopefully you all get to hear it and love it as much as you love just my part on certain songs.”
According to the singer, it’s “either this year or no year,” that he stakes his claim as a force to be reckoned with as the game continues to change for R&B singers.
“People still say my name wrong, that’s how I know my job isn’t done,” he explained. “People just call me ‘Jere’ and they’ll stop ‘cause they don’t know how to say it. It’s just like, alright well, that just let’s me know there are a lot of things I still have to do for you to get to know me.”
Among the singer’s new solo projects is a third studio album he is currently working on and his first ever mixtape titled Late Nights. The new tape features the singer’s new single, “Go to Moe,” as well as guest spots from hip-hop heavy weights Fabolous, Big Sean, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and Twista, among others. Late Nights is set for release later this month.
“I feel no matter who I work with, I just want to make sure that it sounds dope and it feels good,” he said about the upcoming collaborations. “You know, music is what feelings sound like and as long as you can feel me, that’s really my main choice.” —Shamecca Harris