Jaheim : Just In Case

Jaheim gets down with the UK garage massive on his new release...

The respectable UK chart placing of ‘Could It Be’ (despite no national airplay) tells you something about Jaheim‘s British following, and that following have long expected the single release of this album stand-out.

Like much of Jaheim‘s album, ‘Just In Case’, without wishing to sound trite, is made to reflect ghetto realism. D’ya remember when you heard Tupac talking about not living beyond 25 (he didn’t); did you ever read the posthumous feature on him, where, as a way of trying to express the profundity of his feeling for his fiance, told her he’d “take a bullet for her”? Well, ‘Just In Case’ comes from that school of thought, where the inevitability of death is a reality for the young. This is soul music for people who are assumed to listen to rap because it reflects more of their thoughts, this is another new fact of soul music – not happy hiphop soul, but soul written under the social gaze that hiphop almost exclusively focussed on. Hence its ghetto realism tag.

Jaheim, his lusciously heavy voice reeking assurance, tells his girl that he wants to ‘get wit her’ one last time, just in case he doesn’t make it home from the streets. You know how your parents say they ‘never go to bed on a row’ cos you never know what’s gonna happen the next day? Well, mix that mode of thought with the aforesaid street reality, and you’ll come to realize where this song is not only coming from, but to whose ears it’s headed.

For those already up on this but still looking for something new, hold unto your seats with the Dub A Holics Roller’s Revival Radio Edit. It is utterly wicked. Supremely confident in execution, it motivated Jaheim to return to the recording booth and sing from the bottom of his feet up – no octave in his range is left untouched, while the drop before the garage rains down is a wonder to behold. It’s pleasing to see a US artist aligning himself to UK audience trends, rather than his label putting out an anonymous remix, and notwithstanding the honorable intentions behind the song, you should go out and buy this as a thank you.

Soul mama