Twista’s greatest asset is sheer personality. It is that sense of sheer élan that buoys the otherwise perfunctory moments of this legendary Chicago motormouth’s long-awaited comeback album. “Sunshine” could be an update of Paperboy’s infectious “Ditty.” “Badunkadunk” is propelled by turns of phrase more slippery than a stripper’s pole. Then there’s “Slow Jamz,” the novelty rap-lite tune that recently soared up the rap charts. Yes, folks, “Jamz” is a novelty song, one that easily could’ve been taken from a Dr. Demento script, with funnyman Jamie Foxx singing the hook and Kanye West’s downright hilarious (and tuneless) crooning. Then Twista steps in and does his super-duper rapping-for-speed thing. Admittedly, Twista’s flow dazzles — he manages to slip a few extra syllables into every possible nook and cranny. But though he’s technically brilliant, Twista’s verbal hurricane lacks soul. It’s a gimmick. Who cares if his words-per-second rate is higher than the average bear if he doesn’t say anything? Twice as much of a bad thing might be worse than the regular dose. Guest appearances from Ludacris and R. Kelly serve as Pepto-Bismol for Twista’s verbal diarrhea, offering welcome relief from his oral shit storm. But even Too Short and 8 Ball can’t save “Pimp On,” a stale playa’s anthem that provides as good an excuse as any to put an official moratorium on pimp-themed rap songs.

Categories: Music