Chicago winters are cold as the ninth circle of hell. Now imagine growing up there with no heater, strapped for cash, never just enough to pay that criminally expensive, and criminally necessary, heating bill. But then you get summer when it’s all far too hot, sun beating off the city pavement, too many bodies on the El: there is no assuaging human need, no satisfied state in this life, it’s always too hot or too cold.
That’s the tragic and true street-level philosophy of Chicago rapper/producer Jeremiah Jae’s sulky, soul-samping “The Heat”, one of the standouts on his excellent and still newish Good Times mixtape. Now the track’s got a video attached to it, too, and, strangely, Jae seems pretty content in his melancholy. After spitting, “stove on, mom gone, try’na keep the lights on,” there’s closure with age and a step back: “Learn how to make do.” And look where Jeremiah Jae is now: a Brainfeeder associate, making songs with Busdriver and Danny Brown, a European tour, an LP upcoming on Warp. The trembling video itself has Jae rapping on Bushwick rooftops, spliced with shots of him on stage and in the studio, putting his “it gets better” mentality where his mouth is. Dude made good.
For more on Jeremiah Jae read our interview here.