In SPIN’s “The Best of R&B 2013,” Charles Aaron posited that the genre’s recent upheavals have made outsiders of former insiders. Def Jam-signed Chicago star Jeremih is a fantastic example of that phenomenon, having made his musical rise from talent shows (college) to TV shows (One Life to Live) to the top of the charts (R&B). And yet, here the man is, taking a break from prepping his third album — set to feature 50 Cent, T.I., and Busta Rhymes — in order to sit down and record with rising bedroom beatist Shlohmo. That’s not to slight the self-made Los Angeles producer; the man born Henry Laufner has an exquisitely emotive touch (check out 2011’s Bad Vibes), but he’s been operating under the radar of major label artists and execs thus far.
So who do we have to thank for getting these two in a room together? Yours Truly, the same video producing posse who delivered unexpected collaborations between Danny Brown and AraabMuzik, and Angel Haze and Lunice. For the above “Song From Scratch” episode, Jeremih and Shlohmo discover quick chemistry that leads to a dark and deeply etched slow jam called “Lil’ Bo Peep.” Let’s hope some of the singer’s famous friends get a chance to hear it.