My Fingers Keep Slipping: Summer in Slow Motion

We remember when Soulja Slim snuck onto Billboard.
By    June 10, 2016


Paul Thompson‘s been here before. ib_soulja-slim

Quick, without looking it up, what was Cash Money’s first #1? It’s not a trick question where you have to wait for Drake. It’s not a UNLV-Madonna song you forgot about. It’s not “Ha” or “Bling Bling” or from after Wayne really blew up. It’s from ’04; not “Go DJ.” (Only “Lollipop,” for the record.) It’s not that song where all of Mannie’s shit is really big in the video.

“Slow Motion” hit #1 on August 7th. I was 11, it stuck in my brain because it was a song about sex that sounded like it was about death. My friends and I were hanging out on the Mississippi and it was an easy to leap to think everyone in the video was, too. August 7th was five months after the song came out. It was nine months after Slim was killed.

I didn’t know who Soulja Slim was. In hindsight I bet plenty of radio programmers were clueless, too. I didn’t know you could get those t-shirts all over the city.

Apparently Juve got the Atlantic deal because of this song, but I wonder how long it had been in the works. I wonder if Baby tried to take him there himself.

I gleaned that Slim was pimping, but I thought the outside dick hurt his ego. Maybe it did. I bought a Giants hat because of Baby’s in the video.

The outfit I really remember is the yellow one, Juvenile in a promo shirt with another wrapped around his head. He sat in the middle of the bleachers–there’s this half-second where everyone else is in black, in mourning, and he’s this canary rapping about how he’s better for this girl than the next man, and it’s on that little lilt of the beat that makes you wonder if this all is pointless.

I’ll never get over that montage of THOU SHALL NOT KILL and somber kids broken up by Juve hopping off the tour bus with his hands in the air and walking into the cookout. It’s sort of a way to grieve.

Do you get choked up when he’s carrying a toddler up and down the line for burgers?

What about in the third verse, that line where Slim says “I guarantee ya I’ma see ya when I see ya/ And just don’t holla out my name like we was all that”?

Look how many hits are on Juve the Great! If you whittle it down to retail albums, which kind of goes against the ethos of the whole thing, his catalog is still better than Wayne’s, isn’t it? Is it strange that there wasn’t more conflict between Cash Money and No Limit, or is it strange that there wasn’t more crossover?

Bounce is the spiritual blueprint for lots of New Orleans rap even where it isn’t the stylistic framework. Bounce is supposed to disorient your feet, your shoulders, your brain. It’s why “Back That Azz Up” sounds like you climbed out of your grave and into the club.

Kesha sort of covered “Slow Motion.” It sounds like fucking someone because you feel guilty for dropping out of college.

When Slim says

Slow down for me
cause you’re moving too fast
My fingers keep slipping
I’m tryna grip that ass

It sounds for a minute like life passing you by. It’s not a metaphor; you don’t know which day is the last one, you might be trying to grip somebody’s ass when the time comes, and is staring at sunsets supposed to be deeper?

Every single public setting is wrong for “Slow Motion,” and that’s why it’s so brilliant. Los Angeles has more rooftop pools than any other city has rooftops or pools. I’m gonna play it at a few of them this summer. There are people who will feel fucked up about it and people who will just dance to it, and I’m not sure who I’ll like more.

Slim bought his mom a house and got shot on the front lawn. Police, for whatever that’s worth, say it was for $10,000. It just occurred to me that “Lollipop” blew up after Static Major died, too.

If you Google “slow motion” you get the Trey Songz video.

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