Why Jeremih’s Song ‘Oui’ Bothers the Hell Out of Me

It just doesn’t translate.

Artwork for Jeremih’s “Oui”
Artwork for Jeremih’s “Oui”

I’m not a fan of Jeremih. I’m also not not a fan of Jeremih. In fact, Jeremih exists in a space where I typically forget he exists until one of his songs pops up on a Sirius station I listen to and I read the info and I’m like, “Wow, he’s still around, eh? Well, look at God.” Pretty much, he’s like Fanta.

Admittedly, I did like his song “Planez,” though it’s 100 percent because of J. Cole’s hilariously uncouth verse. Lightskint Jermaine’s entire verse was the type I would’ve wanted to write before I started caring about offending those who listened to my music, including my mother.

Well, Jeremih has a song called “Oui.” Because you’ve probably read books or eaten French fries, you know that “oui” is the French word for “yes.” Jeremih has decided to go the homophone route—given its pronunciation in English is “we”—and include the hook, “There’s no ‘oui’ without u and i.”

In a nutshell, Jeremih has an entire song about being a couple—you know, a “we”—but is spelling it like “oui” so he can take advantage of the letters “u” and “i.” Just no. This is what happens when pseudo-creativity goes unchecked.

Last year, in a piece I wrote about “Post to Be” by Omarion featuring Chris Brown and Jhené Aiko, I said this:

Before we move on to the absurdity of said lyric—I contend that it doesn’t actually work—I’d like the congregation to turn to the book of SayHeffaSayWhat and take a moment to appreciate the grammar assassination that happened on the very title of the song. “Post to Be” is a shortened version of “Supposed to Be.” I’ve seen n–gas say “posed to be,” but “Post” is some new-level f–kery. That’s Twitter stupidity on acid remixed with everything Tyrese ever learned in his elementary school in Watts. In fact, I believe the type of motherf–ker who would think “post” works in that title ALSO doesn’t realize it’s dumb-dumb-n–ga shorthand for “supposed.” For them, “post” is a regular-ass word up there with “’pacifically” for specifically. Be that as it may, I’m a better person today because there is a song out there called “Post to Be.” And believe it or not, you are too. I have nothing to back this up with by the way. Juvenile.

I’d wager that “Oui” is as egregious as “Post to Be,” if not more so. OK, maybe not more. But they’re definitely West Virginian kissing cousins in the “Why, Lordt, take me now” English Olympics.

Here’s how I think Jeremih and his goons ended up with a song called “Oui” that represents “we.” They were probably in Paris or H&M and saw a sign that had the word “oui” in it. Somebody said it out loud and was like, “Ain’t it crazy how in English, we spell ‘we’ like double-ewe and eee, but in French they spell ‘we’ like oh-ewe-eye? That’s so crazy. In the land of France, there’s no ‘oui’ without a ‘u’ and an ‘i.’ I’ll bet nobody ever noticed that before. Oh s–t. We’ll kill the game.” More of the same dumb-dumb-n–ga logic.

(By the way, “we” in French is “nous,” pronounced like “new,” but you know, whatever the f–k. “New” is “nouveau,” etc. There really is an infinite amount of f–kery the current urban-music community could do with the French language. But again, whatever the f–k.)

So, Jeremih and his crew hit the studio to write their new hit single, “Oui,” to represent “we,” since, again, there’s no “yes” without u and i.

Admittedly, this song gives me the red ass for those types of obsessive-compulsive disorder reasons that make it hard to enjoy some songs when artists color outside the lines. But the oui-we thing really bothers the living f–k out of me for the simple reason that it just doesn’t translate, and I’m not the type of ignorance-is-bliss dude that just accepts good things because they’re great.