Nice & Slow
|"Nice & Slow"|
|Single by Usher|
|from the album My Way|
|Released||February 3, 1998|
|Usher singles chronology|
"Nice & Slow"
"Nice & Slow" is a 1998 single from Usher's second album My Way. It became his first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1998. The song was written by Usher, Brian and Brandon Casey of the R&B group Jagged Edge, Manuel Seal Jr. and Jermaine Dupri.
Background and composition
"Nice & Slow" was written by Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, and Brandon Casey and Brian Casey, with Dupri producing the tune and Seal serving as co-producer and responsible for the guitar work. Jagged Edge provided background vocals in the record. "Nice & Slow" was recorded by Phil Tan at the Somewhere in College Park studio in College Park, Georgia. Tan and Dupri mixed the record with assistance from John and Brian Frye at Studio LaCoCo, in Atlanta, Georgia. Dupri recalled telling Usher he needed a ballad to "knock out the world". The beat was created first, and the lyrics were fitted to it. The composition and recording of "Nice & Slow" took four hours, according to Dupri.
"Nice & Slow" is a slow R&B, pop and soul ballad with hip hop influences. Musicologist Richard J. Ripani wrote that "Nice & Slow" is an example of the typical "R&B ballad style that became widely popular" in the late 1990s. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Universal Music Publishing Group, "Nice & Slow" is written in common time with a slow tempo of sixty-eight beats per minute. Set in the key of A♭ major, it follows the basic chord progression of Fm11–Cm7–D♭maj13–E♭9sus. Usher's voice spans from the low note of E♭4 to the high note of A♭5. "Nice & Slow" features a spoken introduction, while in the middle of the song Usher performs a melodic rap, which Billboard's Shawnee Smith compared to the syle of Do or Die. Usher said to Time that "Nice & Slow" is "somewhat of an intimate story between a man and a woman."
"Nice & Slow" was released via CD single and cassette single on January 6, 1998. A maxi single was released on March 2, 1998, and a 12-inch on April 20 A remixes CD was made available on March 9, 1998.
The music video for the song was directed by Hype Williams and shot in Paris. Kimora Lee Simmons plays Usher's love interest. The video opens with the caption "4:00 pm Paris" as Usher gets out of an aeroplane. He is shown shirtless in a hotel room having a telephone conversation with his love interest, consisting of the song's spoken intro. Usher and Simmons prepare for their date, and meet each other before sightseeing around Paris in a convertible. Interspersed are low-angle shots of Usher dancing on a sidewalk. As the day becomes night, Usher is seen wearing sunglasses playing a guitar and dancing shirtless in front of the Eiffel Tower. Usher and Simmons drive across a bridge, and midway they are confronted by several gangsters, who kidnap and cage Simmons and beat Usher. Usher appeals to police, who are apparently of no help, and proceeds to locate the gangsters' lair himself. He offers a briefcase to the gangsters, which explodes after being opened and a grenade starts to fly. Usher and the gangsters then engage in hand-to-hand combat. Usher rides away on a motorbike as the windows of building behind them explode with Simmons falling into the ground. They are then seen relaxing on a sofa, before a computer is zoomed in on, which features the song's title written over and over on a word processor.
"Nice & Slow" debuted at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated January 24, 1998, as "You Make Me Wanna...", the first single from My Way slipped from number seven to number ten. On February 2, 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awarded the song a gold certification, following up with a platinum one on February 12. "Nice & Slow" continued to ascend the Hot 100, reaching number one on February 14, succeeding "Together Again" by Janet Jackson. It remained atop the chart on February 21, but on February 28 it was replaced by Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". On the UK Singles Chart, "Nice & Slow" reached number 24.
- "Nice & Slow"
- "Nice & Slow" (instrumental)
- "Nice & Slow" (Live Mix)
- "Nice & Slow" (B-Rock's Basement Mix)
- "Nice & Slow"
- "You Make Me Wanna..." (T & J Classic Garage Mix)
UK CD: 1
- "Nice & Slow"
- "Nice & Slow" (CD-Rom Video Element)
- "You Make Me Wanna..." / "Just Like Me" / "My Way" (Snippets)
- "Nice & Slow" (Radio Version)
- "Nice & Slow" (Live Version)
- "Nice & Slow" (B-Rock's Basement Mix)
- "Nice & Slow" (Suli & Stef's Club Class Mix – UK Mix)
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||5,000*|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,500,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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