Listen to Joey LaBeija and DONCHRISTIAN’s Seductive Take on ’90s R&B in “You Don’t Know”

Read more

Sometimes, great collaborations happen in the most unexpected ways, but other times the opposite is true, and that doesn’t take anything away from what the result might be. Take for example “You Don’t Know,” which finds two rising artists getting together for something special, and it might not have been possible had they not share a love for Nineties cult R&B girl group 702.

The culprits in question are Joey LaBeija and DONCHRISTIAN who respectably have been rocking the urban genre this year within a circle of arty and inspired people away from the mainstream. LaBeija has caught our ear before with a previous track; a Puerto Rican producer and DJ who has worked with Le1f and others, but mainly has gathered attention DJing and producing for singer Junglepussy. Likewise, DONCHRISTIAN has been frontline and center doing amazing work and gathering great approval that will surely will make him a bigger artist in 2015. A Philly native with a deep interest in painting and architecture, he turned some heads his way with the Renzo Piano mixtape, collaborating with people like Antwon and getting some major critics to mention him as a serious contender to take Drake’s crown away from the Canadian singer-rapper.

There’s a brashness to the song that could only come from artists like both involved in this track. Where the original was bouncy and luminous, this one is darker and the voices heard are heavier; it’s less polished for something that feels more honest, and untouched by software-correcting beauty. “You Don’t know” is still plenty soulful and dancey, it’s just more a more mid tempo, seductive take than the club banger march of the original, while the signature guitar arpeggio sample gets slightly mangled by LaBeija. This is not just a revisit but an update, even if it touches on the retro sensibility that we come to expect from the Tumblr generation.

May we see more from this collaboration, hopefully it will yield more heartfelt work like this.