Dave East has an important message for the youth in his new video for “Slow Down” featuring Jazzy Amra, from his forthcoming EP, Paranoia.
East previously tried his hand at making socially conscious music with the anti-police brutality-themed “Don’t Shoot,” but now he’s talking directly to the youth of New York who grew up reckless like he did. Part of his newfound social consciousness might come from becoming a father; he named his last, well-received LP after his daughter, Kairi Chanel. While previous hood anthems like “Stove Top” recalled his time spent hustling in the streets of New York, “Slow Down” delivers a much-needed counterpoint to what some might see as glorification of street life.
Jazzy Amra sings the poignant hook, reminding potential listeners who are “only 19, always on the night scene / He don’t know what life means/ We need to slow down,” while Dave laments the lack of guidance from elder generations who withhold the advice they have to give, “I guess the older heads ain’t teaching nothing / I’m burnt out myself, so honestly ,not preaching nothing.” The video, directed by Fred Focus, depicts the dangers of fast living: A young hustler is victim of a broad day shootout over beef, a young woman worries that she’s knocked up way before she’s ready, and club-goers pop pills to escape life’s problems, all while Dave East and Jazzy admonish them to slow down. Paranoia is due to release August 18, through Def Jam / Mass Appeal Records.