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“Jeremih has just entered the Lincoln [tunnel]… He should be here very shortly…”

At around 11:00 PM, the house DJ at SOB’s in NYC came onto the mic to try and keep the crowd’s energy high before the night’s entertainment walked on stage. He didn’t have much trouble. “Blasé” was playing. Jeremih was running a little behind schedule as he hustled from Hot 97’s Hot for the Holidays show at the Prudential Center in Jersey. But then again there was no hard schedule, considering that the show was a free one from the Chicagoan to celebrate his fans and the release of his new album Late Nights. Plus we had all waited for the follow up to Late Nights, the mixtape, for three years. What was another hour or so?

jeremih

Around midnight, in a classy on brand manner (see: Late Nights), Jeremih started to sing “Late Nights” off stage and walked on in all black with shades save for a bear fur hat. Joining his three piece band (DJ Cuzzo, drummer, keys), Jeremih appeared to have taken his earlier set for Hot 97 was more of a warm up for his night rather than the main event. He wasted no time to treat his patient fans by having 50 Cent come out to “Down On Me.” Afterwards, he set aside a moment for his day ones with “Break Up To Make Up.” Then onto his infectious club single with Natalie La Rose “Somebody.” But instead of Natalie, his new artist, Feather, stepped on in a bright sequin dress.

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Jeremih also took the first of a few moments to remind the crowd that he represents the southside of Chicago, as if to also remind us that greatness can come out of less than favorable conditions. After “F*ck U All The Time” from his EP with Shlomo and his verse off of “Hold You Down” with DJ Khaled. At this point, it was difficult not to realize how omnipresent Jeremih has been in the clubs and on the radio for the past few years. Then came his arguably biggest club and radio hit he’s had: “Birthday Sex.”

A video posted by SOBs (@sobsnyc) on

And to set the tone just right, he stepped behind a keyboard to play a live version, solo. His two female dancers in one piece pilot suits had stolen many of the attendees’ eyes by now, men and women. Once Jeremih came center stage again, he thanked 50 Cent again and stated he was like a mentor to him. 50 Cent reciprocated the love by talking up how talented Jeremih is and consistently releases hits. Then after Jeremih harmonized with himself for parts of “Don’t Tell Em,” the DJ had a planned 50 Cent medley that consisted of “Just A Lil Bit” and “In Da Club.” The crowd proceeded to lose it.

50 Cent wrapped up his mini set by airing out some of his frustration with label politics and certain DJs, as he is oft to do. Jeremih closed out the night with more of the new album-“Planes,” “oui,” and “Pass Dat.” Jeremih stated in a recent Fader interview that he was still getting accustomed to a full band live and he seemed like he followed through with that learning curve. The moments that you could see his eyes, while he wiped the sweat from his eyes and removed his sunglasses. The dedication on his face showed that he was doing this for himself and his loved ones more than ever.

In that same Fader interview, Jeremih also explained his inspirations for the album: “I didn’t want to go into 2016 without giving my fans this. It’s not fun listening to these records myself; it got to that point. This third album is not only for R&B, but for my fans. For the label, who’ve been begging and waiting for me to drop it. For my family, and for myself. For any R&B fellas out there, and to inspire other ones that’s coming up. Just for them to see what I’m bringing and how I feel R&B should sound like right now.”

-Bryan Hahn