In a profile for Billboard magazine, Jeremih did little to stop R&B lovers from examining tea leaves in search of a release date for his upcoming album, Late Nights. Writer Alex Gale explains that the album "was pushed back to Nov. 4 from Sept. 30, which would have lined up well with the Oct. 25 Hot 100 peak of 'Don't Tell 'Em' (it's No. 10 on the Nov. 29 chart), but the new date has come and gone as well."
So what do you when faced with the void? Jeremih mentions that his new album will be clatchet, which is to say classy and ratchet. This means that we must seek out more clatchet music until we have Late Nights. But who else makes clatchet music?
What follows is an attempt to answer that question. It's been edited and condensed.
Ross: I just learned that the word clatchet has actually been in use for a very long time, at least according to Twitter. Were you familiar with it?
Damien: I had no idea the word existed until this Billboard piece. I’m familiar with ratchet music. I love ratchet music. I can’t say I “love” classy music, though.
Ross: Same. Not even sure who makes classy music. Josh Groban? My mom likes him.
Damien: I think Josh Groban qualifies. Sam Smith? Songs that get played in Bloomingdale's are classy, I think.
Ross: Songs to facilitate buying expensive scarves. But combine classy with ratchet, now I’m interested.
Damien: This whole year we’ve been arguing about the validity of alternative R&B, and now we have clatchet. I’m way more interested in talking about this.
Ross: What’s the precedent for clatchet, musically speaking? The first song that came to mind for me was The-Dream’s “Fancy.”
Damien: Right. I think clatchet songs are ones that have subject matter and lyrics that belie the music beneath it. So, “Fancy” is a beautifully orchestrated song, but it’s sung from a ratchet perspective. What would you say?
Ross: So I think I may have just discovered a solid description of clatchet, from none other than Terius Nash. This comes from “Sex Intelligent” on Love King. He sings:
After great sex, there’s this fancy-ass lifestyle
Bettin on horses, racing in Porsches
Just a small portion of a muthafuckin' fortune
Caroline acres, sittin’ on my porches
Scenes from the mountains, money greener than this forest
The great sex is the ratchet part, and then the lifestyle that one can live while having really zesty sex, that’s where the classy comes in.
Damien: Is great sex ratchet? Am I ratchet if I have great sex?
Ross: Maybe? Sex between real people, like not in movie or TV sex, is usually a messy, loud thing. That could be construed as ratchet, maybe? Also, when Terius Nash sings about great sex, it’s likely “panties to the side” sex, which doesn’t necessarily sound classy. Sounds rushed, frantic, exciting.
Damien: Right. When I think of ratchet, I think about doing things in a non-PC way, doing things that aren’t socially acceptable. Clatchet must be like eating Popeyes in a tuxedo.
Ross: Who else is clatchet? Ty Dolla $ign? Rihanna?
Damien: Definitely. I think Trey Songz is clatchet. His latest album was at times classy but more about getting it in in a way you described earlier: panties to the side, maybe on a desk.
Ross: The album art for Trigga is one of the most clatchet things I’ve ever seen, I’m only now realizing. He’s in the black tie tux, of course. But he’s also doing shirtless yoga or something, preparing his body to really get it in.
Damien: Who else? Beyoncé? I feel like she attempts to go that route at times but falls more on the classy side. She never fully goes there.
Ross: Beyoncé's voice can’t help but give everything she does a classy polish. But there are lots of clatchet moments on the self-titled album. She’s on her knees in the back of a car, fooling around with her husband. She’s probably wearing an excellent gown. Sounds clatchet to me.
Damien: True. That sounds like the epitome of clatchet. Is Beyoncé the most clatchet artist in the game?
Ross: Considering I’ve only been aware of clatchet for the last 30 minutes, I’m not prepared to make that call. But I think you’re on to something. Her new song, “7/11,” with its lack of structure and distortion, is one of the weirdest things I’ve heard from her. I had a tweet drafted this morning about how maybe it was Beyoncé doing Young Thug. Now I think it’s just Beyoncé expressing herself clatchetly.
Damien: Makes sense that she and The-Dream have such a good working relationship. They’re both so unapologetically clatchet. I also feel as if Beyoncé would be considered classy regardless of what she’s singing about, unlike Rihanna.
Ross: Rihanna wearing a dress made of crystals without a bra. Insane, beautiful levels of clatchet. Sweating just thinking about it through the lens of this new paradigm.
Damien: In order to deliver on this long-ass wait, Jeremih needs to make his album a clatchet masterpiece with guest appearances from Beyoncé, Rihanna, and The-Dream.
Ross: Then I can die happy.