Play another slow jam, this time make it sweet…a slow jam.
Many Filipino Americans love slow jamz, that sweet, loving, largely African American-composed music that dominated late nights on urban radio stations during the 1980s and 1990s. They made slow jam mix tapes and gave it to girls, they sang them on karaoke, there were even some who started singing groups. For many of us the ritual of listening to radio and recording songs on a blank cassette tape was a skill we honed with fine precision. The task of finding the sweet spot where you got the song and not the dj talking or the dj fading into the next song became a muscle memory.
Passing around mixtapes turned into burning CDs and then sending mp3 files to each other. One particular mix that made the rounds was by DJ Opus, a Filipino American DJ from California. The slow jamz came at you fast and furious on this mix. Back in the day, it could be heard at debuts, formals, and lowered cars with crews of Filipino Americans singing along.
There’s even a 90s Slow Jam Bracket, made by a Fil Am dude! All the songs on this bracket would make an excellent mixtape.
In this episode, we discuss the impact slow jamz had on us and other Filipino Americans. From traditional kundiman to “My Way” to Kai to even Manny Pacquiao, Filipinos can’t get enough of that slow, soulful, baby-making music.
As a bonus, the TFAL crew has put together our own slow jamz playlist. Enjoy and sing along to these handpicked songs.
What would your #1 slow jam song be on your bracket? What songs would be on your playlist? Hit us up on Twitter (@TFALpodcast), Facebook (This Filipino American Life), leave a comment on this post, or leave us a message on our new voicemail! Yes voicemail! TFAL has a phone number folks! 805-394-TFAL. That’s 805-394-8325.