Twista and Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx — “Slow Jamz”

Released: 12.2.03

Peak: #1

Before everything else, “Slow Jamz” reminds us of that spacious corner of African-American music that hip white expropriators have largely overlooked. We Ice People typically plunder black culture for the three r’s: rhythm, rawness ‘n’ rebellion. Sure the playful babymaking of “Lets Get It On” gives us confused sex-giggles. But Frankie Beverly and Evelyn “Champagne” King–even Freddie Jackson–get limited airplay in your average Caucasoid boudoir.

No huge loss, says culturally insensitive me. Music’s an overrated aphrodisiac to begin with, and soundtracking sex an often wasted effort–unless you rush the foreplay, the tunes run out before it’s even time to do the do. And since the use value of quiet storm requires a strenuous unobtrusiveness, its extra-sexual replay value is usually slight. Still, what makes “Slow Jamz” great is that it’s so convinced that “Vandross” rhyming with “pants off” proves the mystical power of certain tunes to arouse women, Axe-Body-Spray-like, that it overlooks the fact that “Vandross” doesn’t really rhymes with “pants off.”

Luther Van himself kicks off the party, “A House Is Not a Home” sped-up as was au courant back before Kanye’s egotism swallowed his sense of humor. When onetime Fifth Wheel host Aisha Tyler craves a quicker dick, Kanye’s admission of sexual/ rhyming inadequacy sets the stage for what amounts to stunt casting. But though Twista fulfills his role as a sound effect, his climactic verses serving as the lyrical equivalent of Eddie Van Halen’s “Beat It” solo, he rises above mere gimmick status by the ease with which he rides the rhythm on the break, plus the eminently quotable “No matter how much of a thug you see/ I still spit it like it’s R&B.” As for Jamie Foxx, he does his job, which is to sing the melody, thus enabling him to later sing lesser melodies for immense profit. And nah, I can’t imagine fucking to “Slow Jamz” either.

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