Chop It, Screw It, Blog It

I think I may have mentioned that I’m heading off to the Lone Star State this weekend. I am going to take my laptop, so I will continue to post as time allows. There are/were two great independent record stores (Soundwaves and Cactus Music) in Houston that I intend to hit up, so hopefully I can post some local music while I’m there.
(** Note: Actually, never mind. I was just looking for links for those places and found that Cactus closed its doors since I was last in Houston. That sucks.
I hope to still be able to get some local sounds while I’m there. Stay tuned.)

My last trip out west, I picked up some Screw, something I haven’t posted a lot of here. Actually something I haven’t ever posted here! Over the past year, I’ve kind of drifted away from listening to rap and hip hop. I’m going to go ahead tonight and post a mix from DJ Screw, the man commonly credited with popularizing Houston’s screw sound.

DJ Screw, born Robert Earl Davis, died in Houston in 2000, of a heart attack. The rumor was that his death came as a result of either a codeine overdose or the result of long-term buildup of codeine in his system. Codeine, of course, being the main ingredient in the syrup that once constituted a popular, but potent, drink in some circles.

I doubt there’s anyone who isn’t familiar with chopped and screwed music, but just in case, Wiki has a fair definition. DJ Screw’s trademark technique was to slow down the basic tracks of a cut when he remixed it. The slowed-down music fit well with a sizzurp buzz. He released five aboveground releases: All Screwed Up, Vol. 1 (1995), 3 'N the Mornin Part 1 (1995), 3 'N the Mornin Part 2 Red (1996) 3 'N the Mornin Part 2 Blue (1996), and All Work, No Play (1999).

Although DJ Screw only had a handful of “authorized” releases, he recorded hundreds of different mixes, usually released on cassette. Tonight’s posted track comes from one of Screw’s posthumous releases, The Final Chapter. The DJ Screw Foundation released it in 2004. None of the tracks are named, they’re just things DJ Screw chopped up and screwed down some point. There’s no liner notes or anything else.

Check it out; it’s definitely different than the day-to-day stuff I post here. If you’re into it, go to the Screwed Up Records site and check out the other things they have for sale.

Track One - DJ Screw.mp3


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