It’s fitting that Jeremih‘s long-awaited studio effort Late Nights: The Album crept onto timelines in the wee hours of Friday morning (Dec. 4) as a surprise.
After sifting through his late-night smashes like the previously released “Oui” and “Pass Dat” as well as his charting singles “Don’t Tell ‘Em” featuring YG and the J. Cole-assisted “Planez,” the 15-track set neatly wraps with an acoustic guitar number called “Paradise.”
Enter Keith James, a fellow Chicago-based singer-songwriter who helped co-write Jeremih’s 2009 hit “Birthday Sex.” For his third studio effort, the longtime friends reconnected in the studio for James’ “Running Back” and the aforementioned “Paradise,” one of the many tracks produced by Jeremih’s go-to beatsmith? Mick Schultz.
“Me and [Jeremih] hadn’t worked with each other since I executive produced his mixtape with him,” explains James over e-mail. “When he brought me out to Malibu to work he just told me to do what I do. I don’t get to hang out with my my brother like before he blew up but he knows I understand how his mind works.”
Their creative jam sessions birthed some introspective cuts. “”Paradise” and “Remember Me” are both records I feel are directly relatable to his life,” he says of the Late Nights: The Album cuts. “‘Paradise’ is a standout record because of the direction Mick [Schultz] chose to go musically. Goin’ into that joint, [Mick] said, “Lets make something that The Beatles would write for J or something like that” and so Wahla!”
On “Paradise,” Jeremih reflects on his good life, which often involves waking up off molly and more change in his pocket. “Man I knew life would be alright / But who could’ve known it’d be this good?,” he croons on the chorus. “Oh and they tell me / It gets better, better, better, better / This is more than life / This is paradise.”
In May, Schultz — who met the singer when he was 18 at Columbia College of Chicago — spoke to Billboard, offering a promise about the LP that seems to hold true now that Late Nights: The Album has finally arrived. “When the third album comes,” he said, “people will be satisfied.”