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Underground-hero-turned-MTV-darling Twista brings his "Slow Jamz" to the Fillmore

You hear it everywhere. It's almost unavoidable: "Slow Jamz," Twista's breakout hit single in which the lyricist, rapping at the speed of sound, celebrates the classic love songs that get every lady in the mood: "Let me get ya sheets wet listenin' to Keith Sweat," he says. And while the success of "Slow Jamz," featuring celebs Jamie Foxx and Kanye West, has brought this wordsmith some well-deserved fame and fortune, the MC formerly known as "Tung Twista" was an underground hero before he was MTV's darling.

The Chicago rapper first made a name for himself with the rapid-fire verse he spit on Do or Die's classic "Po Pimp." Then he took speed-rap to the next level when he was named "World's Fastest Rapper" by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992. After 12 years and several LPs that never went so much as gold -- but which earned him numerous fans in the rap industry -- Twista enlisted two hotshot producers, Roc-A-Fella wonderboy Kanye West and Missy's man Timbaland, to bring the heat on his latest record, Kamikaze. Suddenly he's an overnight success.

On Kamikaze, in addition to his tongue-twisting lyrical Olympics, Twista also slows it down and flips styles, crooning in player-istic fashion or getting crunk like they do down south, proving he's no one-trick pony. Whether he's comparing women to alcoholic beverages ("Drinks") or waxing poetic about murder and suicide ("Kill Us All"), he does everything in his own spectacular, idiosyncratic way. The newly famous MC makes his long-awaited, post-"Slow Jamz" appearance in the Bay Area this week. But you better pay attention because the man will be rapping fast -- very fast.

 
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