First Hit #1: February 21, 2004
It’s always a risk when you reference other artists, for you might make your listeners think that they would rather listen to those artists instead. Slow Jamz goes full force into that bad idea, referencing Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin, two artists who definitely made better songs than Slow Jamz. Of course, Slow Jamz isn’t quite trying to be a slow jam, Twista’s talent is in rapping rapidly and his machine gun delivery is not made for something with slow in the title. So it becomes something that doesn’t pretend to be what it’s referencing. Otherwise, the big news for the track is Kanye West, who produces and provides a verse. Lyrically, Kanye is Kanye, a weirdo idiot savant whose lyrics often straddle a line between lunacy and brilliance – he rhymes Jackson with Jackson in a joke that’s out of place, stupid, and actually kind of funny anyway. Production wise, his sound would soon dominate the airwaves, a tornado of soul samples that manages to hit hard. He’s an odd man, West, as entertaining as he is enervating, but this song shows his early strengths as well as his consistent weaknesses.