10.1.13

2012 blind spot: Jeremih - 773 Love

This didn't (and won't) make it onto the rundown of my favourite songs of last year, having only discovered it when Jeremih started popping up on EOY summaries (most unexpectedly in Resident Advisor!) and appropriating picks from other lists feels somehow fraudulent (btw, I am crazy). Anyway, '773 Love' has been on repeat the past two days, to the extent where I didn't even need to be connected to my MP3 player – it just ran on and on in my head. THAT hasn't happened in a while – this kind of intense devotional commitment to one song. I think 'Ungirthed' was the last, and that was 2011's number one. Perhaps if I had discovered this sooner (and not heeded those dismissing Late Nights with Jeremih as a consolation prize for bandwagon-jumpers and Tetrius Nash fans), it could have claimed the top spot in 2012...

'733 Love' reminds me a lot of JoJo's 'Demonstrate' – someone racked by carnal desire hoping beyond hope that the phone will ring. I mean, there's no way "been thinking lately we can get more physical" is any kind of chat-up line that could lead to an actual exchange of phone-numbers (I don't know, perhaps I'm just British about these things). Like JoJo, Jeremih is in the throws of sexual fantasy, but while 'Demonstrate' is slightly introverted and neurotic about it, '773 Love' is all-ablaze at the fact. Mike Will Made It crowns Jeremih's pleas in the chorus with blasts of triumphant synth. There's no shame whatsoever: "tonight them draws is all I need! falling off of your body!". Jeremih's passion is expressed as a full-throated roar, glorious and absurd. JoJo's yearning feels more desperate, more pathetic. She doesn't have the confidence to say all the ridiculous things Jeremih is coming out with.

A gendered reading of the two songs inevitably presents itself: men as the creators and masters of sexual relations have the space to shamelessly bare all, as it were. Women aren't able to articulate their (similarly fervent) cravings as easily. That said, JoJo's 'Demonstrate' is more universal than that – its writhing pent-up ardor isn't exclusive to women, I assure you. One hopes (for all our sakes) that Jeremih's more assertive account is as accessible, in the future if not now.

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