Diggin' In The Crates: The Sample In Jeremih's 'Don't Tell 'Em'

A super brief history on the samples used in that song you can't get out of your head

Jeremih has comfortably been making bank from the bedroom for the past five years. In 2009, the crooner who looked like Diddy's mini-me turned birthdays into the second baby-making holiday after honeymoons with "Birthday Sex". The year after, the Def Jam signee fronted the 2010 freaky deaky anthem "Down On Me" co-starring 50 Cent. Then, in 2012, he dropped the underrated Late Nights with Jeremih mixtape for the grown and sexy. Now, the singer often on hook duty attempts to penetrate speakers once more with the slick and sly "Don't Tell 'Em."

If you find yourself repeating Jeremih's hook after one listen, it could be because you already know the song. Before EDM became a (highly profitable) thing, German eurodance music tandem Snap! (comprised of Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti) dropped "Rhythm Is A Dancer" in 1992. It peaked at No. 5 on the US Billboard Top 100 but enjoyed more success overseas as the biggest-selling single of the year in the UK with 582,700 copies sold.

With vocals from American singer/writer/composer Thea Austin and bars from rapper Turbo B (an American reportedly discovered at a navy base in Germany while doing service in the army), the catchy refrain goes, "Rhythm is a dancer/ It's a soul's companion/ You can feel it everywhere."Jeremih takes a more shallow approach on "Don't Tell 'Em", flipping it into, "Rhythm is a dancer, I need a companion/ Girl I guess that must be you/ Body like the summer, fucking like no other/ Don’t you tell ‘em what we do."

At a time where TMZ and Twitter were obsolete, the original copped some flack for the eyebrow-raising line: "I'm as serious as cancer, when I say rhythm is a dancer." (UK's Telegraph hailed it "the worst lyric of all time".) Some say it's a play off of Eric B. & Rakim's "I Ain't No Joke" off their 1987 LP Paid In Full where they rap, "I got a question as serious as cancer/ Who can keep the average dancer."

For the visual, Snap! makes a play for global domination at a space station with an army of men dressed in light-up, skin-tight bodysuits. As they salute to the beat and hold globes above their heads, Austin is hoisted in the air amidst fog. Bill Nye The Science Guy-type effects also prance in and out of the screen. Despite the dated video, "Rhythm Is A Dancer" set the tone for mainstream. Electronic beats, dinky rap and infectious powerhouse vocals ultimately became the stuff that all great '90s pop hits are made of (see: La Bouche's 1995 "Be My Lover"). Whether your dance skills extend as far as Will Ferrell's head bop in Night At The Roxbury or the Jabbawockeez, "Rhythm Is A Dancer" is an instant pick-me-up that stands the test of time.—Adelle Platon (@adelleplaton)

"Don't Tell Em" is produced by DJ Mustard and Mick Schultz and will appear on Jeremih's forthcoming LP on Def Jam Records. Cop "Don't Tell 'Em" on iTunes here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant reacts during the Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 2008.

Kobe Bryant's Basketball Hall Of Fame Induction Scheduled For 2021

After being pushed back several months, Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction will take place next year, the NBA announced on Saturday (Nov. 28). Bryant is scheduled to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in May 2021.

Additional inductees include NBA ballers Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and WNBA great Tamika Catchings. Hall of Fame weekend, which was originally scheduled to take place in August, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is now scheduled for May 13-15, 2021.

NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich also made the 2021 Hall of Fame class, as did Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, and Bentley University women’s coach Barbara Stevens.

With a combined 48 All-Star Game selections, and nearly a dozen NBA championships between them, Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett lead the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Eddie Sutton, Former Oklahoma State, Kentucky, who died in May, joins Bryant as a posthumous inductee.

Bryant died in a plane crash this past January. The NBA legend passed away with his 13-year-old daughter, Giana Bryant, and seven others.

Continue Reading
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV

Chadwick Boseman Celebrated On What Would've Been His 44th Birthday

The internet was flooded with tributes to Chadwick Boseman on Sunday (Nov. 29) for what would have been the beloved actor’s 44th birthday.

Michael B. Jordan posted a black-and-white photo of him embracing his Black Panther star co-star at last year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. “Continue watching over us King,” wrote Jordan. “Happy Birthday. Miss you.”

Fellow Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o shared a photo of her and Bsoeman captioned, “Deeply loved, sorely missed.”

In honor of Boseman, Marvel added a touching tribute to the Black Panther intro on Disney+.

Long live the King. #WakandaForever pic.twitter.com/FHiJDVQ3NS

— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) November 29, 2020

Boseman died from colon cancer in August after quietly battling the disease for four years. The South Carolina native’s death came as a shock to many as he only informed a small circle of friends and family of his cancer diagnosis. Boseman’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, debuts on Netflix next month.

See birthday dedications from Jordan, Davis, Nyong’o and more below.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by VIOLA DAVIS (@violadavis)

Remembering you today, @chadwickboseman. Happy Birthday King pic.twitter.com/wwmNpSerXw

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) November 29, 2020

Thinking of your passion, love, and your light today, @chadwickboseman. Happy Birthday. Wishing we could time travel back to this moment. pic.twitter.com/df94mUaS6b

— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 29, 2020

Happy Birthday to Chadwick Boseman, rest in paradise❤️ pic.twitter.com/5LVyPeT5w8

— . (@MEENAVOGUEE) November 29, 2020

You will always be our king. Remember Chadwick Boseman on what would have been his birthday today. pic.twitter.com/j1MLTQqow2

— Marvel UK & Ireland (@MarvelUK) November 29, 2020

“(Chadwick Boseman) was in his way a historian — of other people’s magnetism and volition. Excellence and leadership spoke to and sparked him. They had to. No one approximates this much greatness without a considerable reserve of greatness himself.” - Wesley Morris, NY Times pic.twitter.com/R60GSPZEjh

— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) November 29, 2020

Remembering the inimitable and magnetic Chadwick Boseman on his birthday. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KdHPnJu1CY

— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) November 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman would have been 44 years old today. He meant so much to so many people.

Rest In Peace and Happy Birthday. pic.twitter.com/UtXhH0PI08

— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) November 29, 2020

Continue Reading
Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET

Jeremih’s Mother Opens Up About His Battle With COVID-19

Three weeks into his battle with COVID-19, Jeremih has been removed from the ICU and transferred to a regular room at the Chicago medical center where he is receiving treatment. The 33-year-singer was at his mother, Gwenda Starling’s, home when he started feeling ill earlier in the month.

Within a couple of hours, he couldn't walk properly and decided to go to the hospital, where he has been since Nov. 5. “A couple hours later he was calling me saying, ‘Mom, I need to go to the hospital. All of a sudden he couldn’t walk,” Sterling told ABC Chicago. “He was barely walking. He was holding his stomach.”

Thankfully, Jeremih’s condition got worse from there. He was in critical condition and placed on a ventilator. Starling described the experience as a “tremendous nightmare.”

“The whole family was just so saddened and just shocked, first of all. After we gout out of that whole shock thing, it was like ‘OK, we’ve got to pray.’”

Jeremih’s condition has slowly improved over the last several days. His mother noted that she knew he was healing when he started asking her for real food. “I got so teary-eyed, but I get so joyful at the same time because he’s pulling through,” she said.

The family hopes that he will be home by Thanksgiving. “It may be a bit much to ask God, but I figure we’ve been asking for everything else.”

Watch the full interview below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories