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by
3 February, 2004@12:00 am
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      Chi-town prodigy, Twista, has paid his dues many times over. Originally debuting in the early 90′s with the “Tung” prefix attached to his name, the artist better known only as Twista has gained legendary status with over 5 albums in his catalogue (solo or otherwise), and one of the pioneers in the now infamous double-time, speed rhyme scheme. With rumors that he would be moving to The Roc for the release of Kamikaze, Twista maintains his position with Atlantic, with his Roc-A-Fella friends in tow.

      Twista has seen his greatest success yet with Kamikaze’s lead single, “Slow Jamz”, in which he teams up with fellow Chi-town producer-on-the-mic, Kanye West, as the two craft the ultimate dry hump anthem in the form of an ode to classic R&B. This track exemplifies brilliance on both ends of the spectrum, whether is’s Kanye’s production or Twista’s clever lyrics, as the duo pays homage to each Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendegrass, New Edition, Ready For The World, and other classic crooners. This track is followed by another A+ Twista and Kanye collaboration, on the incredible “Celebrity Overnight”, as Kanye works his trademark chipmunk soul over Twista’s lavish lyrics. But Twista loves his slow jams, as the tradition continues on both “Still Feels Good” (feat. Jazze Pha) and the R. Kelly blessed “So Sexy”, two sunny day summer jams ready for radio play. And, as an honorary, misplaced member of the Southern rap scene, Twista’s crunk side comes out on much of the remainder of the album on tracks like the wild “Get Crunk (Higher)” with Ludacris, the dark and bouncy “One Last Time”, and the catchy “Pimp On” alongside 8-Ball and west coast legend Too Short (who sounds as if he hasn’t aged a bit).

     What makes Twista such a pleasure to listen to, is the fact that as the pioneer of the double-time flow, he is incredibly precise and no matter how fast he is rhyming, you can make out every word he spits. Kamikaze is a strong LP, however Twista still seems to be searching for the one sound that will define him. With a variety of different styles of production, the results are hit (“Slow Jamz, “Pimp On”, “Celebrity Overnight”) and miss (“Badunkadunk”, “Sunshine”, “Like A 24″), as the artist and the gangster inside struggle to take over Twista’s consciousness. Kamikaze shows promise from this Chicago legend, and will easily be his most popular and best-selling LP to date, but he’s still a mark or two off from delivering a classic.

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