Speaking during a Billboard The Juice
podcast, Jeremih explained that he was inspired to record the song after seeing the success of Kid Ink's "Show Me
," with which he was originally involved. "When I was creating 'Don't Tell 'Em,' I was feeling a way because I was a part of the 'Show Me' record, with Kid Ink and Chris Brown, as far as from the writing side," he said. "I was actually on that song before Chris. Nobody really knows this: The day I wrote 'Don't Tell 'Em' was the day 'Show Me' went #1. It was like, 'Man, can you believe the song that I helped on and that I was on, went #1?' I was like, let me make my own..."