My MHW brothers have been putting up mix tapes. I’m not really a big mix tape guy, except when it comes to slow jams. I think I’ve always connected better with slow jams. I’ve noticed that artists use slower songs to communicate real issues or possible heartbreak or happiness much better than in faster songs. I guess the reason to have faster songs is much different and when you’re making the crowd dance, they probably don’t care what you have to say. But with slower songs, it’s different. Artists emote biographically through their music as it is, and I think they do so more during slower songs.

When I was about 20 years old, I started making mix tapes of slow songs. I especially enjoyed the love songs. Call me soft or whatever. But just singing about love is inspiring. The first tape I created was called Jam Slow. Yep, that’s the title on the old cassette tape. I didn’t want to call it Slow Jams, so I went the other way.

I’ve always had an idea on what I wanted to do with these tapes. I never just wanted to throw a bunch of songs on a tape and go with it. I looked at how artists told stories with their songs. They fit into a few buckets. There are the courting type songs, the early love songs, the “we have a future together”songs, the marriage songs, and the most famous of them all, the break up songs. I put them in order, not by artist necessarily, but by what the content was in each song. The first songs would be the courting songs, and then next would be the early love kind of songs that would then segue into real relationship songs. After that, the break-up songs would come in, and then the “get back” songs, and usually at the end, I saved either the marriage songs or the songs about starting a family. I did this with all the impending tapes as well. Now before you start to notice how weird I am, I’ll get right to the music.

Look At Those Outfits

Jam Slow (circa 1996/97)

1. Falling – Montell Jordan
2. Knocks Me Off My Feet – Tevin Campbell
3. For Your Love – Stevie Wonder
4. Down Low (Nobody Has To Know) – R. Kelly
5. Nobody – Keith Sweat featuring Athena Cage
6. Stay Gold – Stevie Wonder
7. I’m Still In Love With You – New Edition
8. When Can I See You Smile Again – Bell Biv Devoe
9. Can You Stand The Rain – New Edition
10. Never Can Say Goodbye – Jackson 5
11. How Could You – K-Ci and JoJo
12. If You Think You’re Lonely Now – K-Ci Hailey
13. Lately (live version) – Jodeci
14. Everytime I Close My Eyes – Babyface
15. The Lady In My Life – Michael Jackson
16. Love U For Life – Jodeci
17. The Day – Babyface

Look At Bob Wear The Bandana Under The Hat

You can definitely see what kind of music I was listening to at that time. Lots of Jodeci, Steveland, NE, and MJ. I can remember being done with a relationship right around this time (and possibly sooner), but I don’t remember that being a large factor in the songs that I chose to be on the tape, like would happen during other times in my life. Some thoughts on it.

  • Falling by Montell Jordan is really the only song I’ve been able to get into by him. Of course, everybody has heard This Is How We Do It, but Falling is the only place where I’ve been able to truly get into his voice.
  • There are two Stevie Wonder songs on this list but also two Stevie Wonder covers by other artists – Lately and Knocks Me Off My Feet.
  • Stay Gold isn’t really a relationship love song per say, but it’s sort of a universal love song that I’ve always thought was magical.
  • New Edition, BBD, New Edition – I’ve always dug Ricky Bell’s voice.
  • Never Can Say Goodbye is definitely the oldest song on the list, but somehow it sounds just as fresh (at least in 1996) as the others.
  • I probably OD’d a bit on Jodeci at the time, but it was what I was listening to.
  • The Day is the song that probably describes the feeling of immediate fatherhood better than anything else I’ve ever heard.

Oh such tears of joy, I’ve never known
I can’t remember
It’s like a song, I’ve never heard
I’ve never sung, but know the words

I’ll be back soon with the next version of Jam Slow. I dropped the Jam and shortened it to J Slow.