With the video for “Slow Down,” the most anticipated Bay Area music video of the year, Clyde Carson, Kaz Kyzah, and Mayne Mannish of The Team are bringing Hyphy back. Thankfully they left scrapers and tall tees back in ’05, but the sideshow culture native to the Bay Area is back on full display, as are flashy whips, enthusiastic mobs, and Bay unity.
The Team reunion is a sign of unity by itself, but turning out E-40, Too $hort, J. Stalin, Roach Gigz, Traxamillion, EA-Ski, LoveRance, Mistah FAB, Rayven Justice, and others officially christens this video as a special occasion. Such a variety of artists don’t just make cameos in any old video; Everyone knew this was a special record. It hearkens back to the momentum felt around the release of “Tell Me When To Go.” “Slow Down” has that same unbridled energy, a signature dance style, a focus on the region’s lawless car culture, and a lack of reliance on vixens. In fact there are few women in the video period. It’s reminiscent of a good party during the Hyphy era; Dudes and females alike were so busy going stupid that the whole hip-hop cliché of objectifying women kinda faded for a bit.
In some sense the “Slow Down” video is the Bay’s answer to the tribute Drake and Weezy’s “The Motto” was intended to be. For those who felt that the Bay Area was misrepresented by Drizzy’s mere skirting of the Embarcadero in a 6-4, “Slow Down” is most likely what you were looking for. Cue up the Camaros, Stangs, and even trucks swinging donuts through East Oakland intersections two at a time. This doesn’t embody the whole of Oakland to be sure, but it’s certainly The Turf in a nutshell.
Much of the record’s success is owed to the J-12, a signature dance created by DJ J-12 and Priceless Da Roc specifically for “Slow Down.” The Team aren’t Souljah Boy type entertainers, and “Slow Down” wasn’t created with a dance in mind, but it definitely helped introduce the song to younger audiences. In fact most of my students knew the song before they knew who Clyde Carson or The Team was. And while we’re on the topic, folks need to stop giving Clyde top-billing; The Team is comprised of three equal people. Thanks. Anyway, the J-12 has helped the song get as big as it has, and may help it get bigger since out of touch label executives love a dance craze to do their promo work for them.
Clyde, Kaz, and Mayne have always been experts at making high energy catchy records with a laid back cool. It’s that Oakland swag with the Bay’s panache that other regions have always tried so desperately to capture to no avail. I do have to say though, now that it’s 2012 and I own a car, sideshows have lost a bit of their appeal. Yall peep the accident at the 2:20 mark? How does one explain that to their insurance provider? Nonetheless, the video is fun, the turf is behind the record, and hopefully The Team has learned that they are better together.