Robert Earl Davis Jr. (July 20, 1971 – November 16, 2000), better known by his stage name DJ Screw, was an American hip hop DJ based in Houston, Texas, and best known as the creator of the now-famous chopped and screwed DJ technique. He was a central and influential figure in the Houston hip hop community and was the leader of Houston's Screwed Up Click.
Davis released over 200 mixtapes and was recognized as an innovator mostly on a regional level until his death of codeine overdose in 2000. His legacy was discovered by a wider audience around 2005, and has gone on to influence a wide variety of artists.
|Birth name||Robert Earl Davis Jr.|
|Born||July 20, 1971|
Smithville, Texas, U.S
|Died||November 16, 2000 (aged 29)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Robert Earl Davis, Jr. was born in Smithville, Texas. His father, Robert Earl Davis Sr., was a veteran adult film actor with aids based in Houston. His mother Ida May Deary (who had a young daughter from a previous marriage), came to the area to be with her mother when her son was born in 1971. She returned to Houston, but the marriage was floundering; soon it would be over, and she and her kids moved to Los Angeles for a couple of years, then back to Houston, and returned to Smithville in 1980 when Davis was age nine.
When young, DJ Screw had aspirations of being a truck driver like his father, but seeing the 1984 hit break dancing movie Breakin' and discovering his mother's turntable attracted him to music. His admiration of classical music drove him to resume piano lessons. After seven years of practice, he was able to play works like Chopin's Etude in C major by ear. His musical interest shifted as he took his mother's B.B. King and Johnnie Taylor records and scratched them on the turntable the way DJs did, slowing the spinning disc and then allowing it to speed back up, playing with sound.
Davis began buying records of his own and would spin with his friend Trey Adkins, who would rhyme. "Screw had a jam box and he hooked up two turntables to it and made a fader out of the radio tuner so he could deejay." Adkins said if Robert Earl didn't like a record, he would deface it with a screw. One day Adkins asked him, "Who do you think you are, DJ Screw?" Robert Earl liked the sound of that and, in turn, gave his long-time friend a new name: Shorty Mac.
Davis began DJing at age 12 in 1983, and started his trademark slowed-down mixes in 1990, the style became his main focus in late 1991 – early 1992. The mixes began as special compilations requested by friends and those in the know. He soon made them available for sale when his close friend Toe offered to buy a mix from him for ten dollars. At that point, customers had increasingly begun requesting his more well-known mixes instead of personalized lists. During the early 1990s, he invited some of the Houston MCs from the city's south side to rhyme on those mixes. This coalition of emcees eventually became the fathers of the Screwed Up Click. Many members of the Screwed Up Click, or S.U.C., are considered key figures in the canon of Houston hip hop. The original lineup included Big Hawk, Big Moe, E.S.G., and Fat Pat, among others. The crew later gained then upcoming artists such as, Z-Ro , Trae tha Truth as well as Lil Flip. His career began to advance once he met Russell Washington of BigTyme Recordz and signed to the label.
Davis later moved to a house in the 7600 block of Greenstone Street near Gulfgate Mall. Fans, some driving from far away areas such as Dallas and Waco, lined up at his door to obtain his recordings. He started his own business and opened a shop up on 7717 Cullen Blvd in Houston, TX, called Screwed Up Records and Tapes. It has been shown in numerous music videos and documentaries as well as independent films. In the early 2010s, this location closed. It has since been relocated to 3538 West Fuqua, Houston, TX. Fans may also purchase merchandise, including mixtapes, on the S.U.C. website. There are now several Screwed Up Records and Tapes spread out through Texas, including one in Beaumont and in Austin.
On November 16, 2000, Davis was found dead inside of his Houston recording studio in the 8100 block of Commerce Park Drive. Fans speculated about the true cause of his death. When the coroner reports were released, they confirmed that he died of a codeine overdose in addition to mixed drug intoxication. The codeine came from a prescription-strength cough syrup that he would mix with soda to concoct purple drank. In addition to codeine, Valium and PCP were found in his blood. His funeral took place at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church in his hometown of Smithville, Texas.
DJ Screw has been a considerable influence in the Houston scene and beyond, "helping to cement his legacy as an underappreciated avant-gardist, creator of a sui generis sound that’s still growing and mutating." Texas governor Rick Perry honored him by making him an official Texas Music Pioneer. The Houston Press named the 1995 album 3 'n the Mornin' (Part Two) as no. 13 on its list of the 25 best Houston rap albums of all time, crediting the release for the way it helped shape Houston's hip-hop culture. When the Houston hip-hop scene became nationally prominent in 2004, many of the biggest acts could be traced to DJ Screw's crew, the Screwed Up Click. Many artists outside of Houston rap have been influenced by Screw's work, including experimental electronic artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never, Balam Acab, How to Dress Well, and Rabit.
The genre sown by DJ Screw has since evolved into a Houston-based subculture that is associated with the recreational consumption of codeine, opulent jewelry and elaborate vintage vehicles. Screw has also left behind a cult following of listeners who self-identify as "screwheads". A music festival and car show in honor of DJ Screw was set up in 2006. The inaugural DJ Screwfest featured 200 vehicles and a set list featuring notable Houston hip-hop acts like Trae and Chingo Bling. The first festival took place at the Pasadena County Fairgrounds. The 2007 documentary film Screwed In Houston, produced by VBS/Vice Magazine, details the history of the Houston hip hop scene and the influence of the chopped and screwed sub-culture on Houston hip hop. The 5-part series devotes one full episode to DJ Screw and includes video footage of him days before his death. The University of Houston Libraries Houston Hip Hop Research Collection  includes the DJ Screw Papers  including approximately 1500 vinyl records owned by DJ Screw, original DJ Screw recordings, photographs, handwritten track lists, and more. Some of these materials have been digitized.
|1995||All Screwed Up, Vol. II||Bigtyme Recordz|
|1998||3 'N The Mornin' (Part Two)||Bigtyme Recordz|
|1999||All Work No Play||Jam Down Records|
|1999||Disc 2 of SPM's Power Moves The Table||Dope House Records|
|2001||The Legend||Bigtyme Recordz|
|2002||All Work No Play, Vol. 2||Reliant Entertainment|
|2002||Soldiers United For Cash||TJ Music/REL Entertainment, LLC|
|2001||Soldiers United for Cash VHS||REL Entertainment, LLC|
|2004||Soldiers United for Cash (Collector's Edition) DVD||REL Entertainment, LLC|
The "Screwtapes" were mixtapes that DJ Screw made himself and mainly sold from his house or when traveling to do shows. Many of his friends freestyled and spoke over the instrumentals and songs.
The mixtapes were re-released after his death in 2000 and given "Diary of the Originator: Chapter" titles. Despite this, they were not re-released chronologically. The works date between 1993 and 2000. New chapters continued to be released.
3 'N the Mornin' (Part One) is an album by Bigtyme Records that was mixed by DJ Screw. It was released in 1994. Part Two was released in 1996.3 'n the Mornin' (Part Two)
3 'N the Mornin' (Part Two) is a 1996 album by southern hip hop artist DJ Screw. It contains a collection of songs by Dirty South artists remixed using Screw's trademark chopped and screwed style.
Part Two is one of Screw's best known CDs. Houston Press called it one of the best Houston rap albums of all time.C-Note (rapper)
Courtney Smith (born May 17, 1976), professionally known by his stage name C-Note, an American rapper from Houston, Texas. He was formerly a member of the Botany Boyz, part of the Screwed Up Click scene first started by DJ Screw.
His first solo album, Third Coast Born, was an underground success, eventually reaching #67 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album was revamped and re-released in 2000, and this also peaked at #91 on the same chart. C-Note has released several albums since then, and made numerous guest appearances (including with Fat Pat, Lil' Flip and Z-Ro). His fourth full-length, Network'n, was released in 2006, and his fifth, Birds Vs Words, in 2016.Chopped and screwed
Chopped and screwed (also called screwed and chopped or slowed and throwed) is a technique of remixing hip hop music which developed in the Houston hip hop scene in the early 1990s. This is accomplished by slowing the tempo down to between 60 and 70 quarter-note beats per minute and applying techniques such as skipping beats, record scratching, stop-time, and affecting portions of the music to make a "chopped-up" version of the original.
DJ Screw is the innovator behind the chopped and screwed genre. DJ Screw's key technique involved playing the same record on both turntables with a delay between them of one beat and quickly moving the crossfader side to side. This created an effect where the words or beats in a song were repeated without interrupting its tempo.Coughee Brothaz
The Coughee Brothaz (formerly known as the Odd Squad) is a Southern hip-hop trio consisting of Devin the Dude, Jugg Mugg and Rob Quest.The group members Devin and Rob met at a 1989 talent show sponsored by Kurtis Blow. Devin lost the contest but was greatly impressed by Rob's performance.
He and Rob became close friends and eventually Devin's friend Dexter Johnson came along as well. With Rob's production, the group recorded a series of demos and befriended many of their future label-mates and affiliates such as Big Mike, UGK, and DJ Screw.
Deciding to get more serious about their career, the group slid a demo to Rap-A-Lot house producer Crazy C, who had previously produced almost the whole of Mr. Scarface is Back.
The demo then made it to label head James Prince. He soon offered them a recording contract and Rob handled the bulk of the album production with the group writing all the tracks with aid from such staple southern producers as Mike Dean, N.O Joe and John Bido.
Their first album, Fadanuf Fa Erybody!! was released on February 1, 1994 under Rap-A-Lot Records. The album is considered by Scarface to be the label's finest release.
Despite much praise, the album was a failure, reaching only #66 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Soon after, Devin would join Scarface's protege group Facemob before going solo in 1998. His ties with the Odd Squad however continued.
The group later became known as Coughee Brothaz and released the albums Waitin' Our Turn in 2007 and Fresh Brew in 2011.Draped Up
"Draped Up" is the first single from Bun B's solo debut album Trill. It samples elements from the song "Pimp Tha Pen" by DJ Screw. It features an intro from Lil' Keke. The official remix is on the album and it features Lil' Keke, Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Aztek, Lil Flip, & Z-Ro. The music video features cameo appearances by Chingy, Devin The Dude, Kanye West, Scarface, Spice 1, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Lil' Keke, Lil' Flip, Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Trae Tha Truth, Aztek, & Birdman. The song topped out at #45 on the U.S. Hot R&B Chart.Fat Pat (rapper)
Patrick Hawkins (December 4, 1970 – February 3, 1998), better known by his stage name Fat Pat (also known as Mr. Fat Pat), was an American rapper from Houston, Texas who was a member of DEA (Dead End Alliance) with his brother John "Big Hawk" Hawkins and DJ Screw, and Kay-K, all original members of the Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.).Wreckshop Records released his first two albums, Ghetto Dreams and Throwed In Da Game in 1998 after his death. Later releases were on the Screwed Up Click label.Foe tha Love of $
"Foe tha Love of $" is the second single by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, featuring Eazy-E, from their debut album, Creepin on ah Come Up. The song was produced by DJ Yella and executive produced by Eazy-E. "Foe tha Love of $" was a huge success for the group, making it to #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, #37 on the Rhythmic Top 40 and #4 on the Hot Rap Singles. The music video is notable for being Eazy-E's last appearance in a music video before his death. The song was included in the soundtrack of the video game True Crime: Streets of LA, along with "Thuggish Ruggish Bone". DJ Screw has also remixed it on the 1996 mix "Chapter 24 - 9 Months Later".
Parts of this song (including Jewell's backing vocals) are recycled from the Yomo & Maulkie track "For the Love of Money", from their 1991 album Are U Xperienced?.Lil' Keke
Marcus Lakee Edwards (born March 29, 1976), better known by his stage name Lil' Keke, is an American rapper and original member of the Southern hip hop collective Screwed Up Click.OG Ron C
Ronald Rummell Coleman (born August 19, 1973), better known for his stage name OG Ron C, is an American record producer, radio personality, DJ, and entertainment and management company executive, who currently signed to OVO Sound and is also an on-air DJ for KQBT 93.7 The Beat. He is the owner of the Houston-based urban music online radio station ChopNotSlop Radio, former DJ of Southern rappers Chamillionaire and Slim Thug. Along with Michael 5000 Watts, he co-founded Swishahouse Records and helped jump-start the careers of Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall and Mike Jones. The leader and founder of The Chopstars, he was the first Houston DJ to receive his own day (Sept 4) when he got a proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner. He is most known for his F-Action (Fuck Action) Series Mixtape which features R&B songs Chopped and Screwed and to date has over 4,200 mixtapes and albums, both at regular speed and chopped and screwed speed. He has sold over 22,000,000 mixtapes and albums to date. He also is the founder of Chopnotslop Radio a 24-hour "Screwed" Radio station dedicated to DJ Screw.Purple drank
Purple drank is a recreational drug, created by combining cough syrup with a soft drink and hard candy. The concoction originated in Houston, Texas and is popular among those who belong to the hip hop subculture or reside in the southern United States.Screwed Up Click
The Screwed Up Click (or S.U.C.) is an American hip hop collective based out of Houston, Texas, that was led by DJ Screw. Its most notable members include DJ Screw himself, Big Hawk, Big Mello, Big Moe, Big Pokey, the Botany Boyz, E.S.G., Fat Pat, Lil' Flip, Lil' Keke, Lil' O, Trae and Z-Ro. In addition, Devin the Dude, K-Rino, Lil' Troy, South Park Mexican and UGK are considered to be "Screwed Up Affiliated". Many of the current/former/deceased SUC members come from the neighborhoods of South Park, 3rd Ward and other hoods on Houston’s South side.Southern hip hop
Southern hip hop, also known as Southern rap, South Coast hip hop, or Dirty South, is a blanket term for a regional genre of American hip hop music that emerged in the Southern United States & the Southeastern United States, especially in Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Memphis, and Miami—the five of which constitute the "Southern Network" in rap music.The music was a reaction to the 1980s flow of hip hop culture from New York City and the Los Angeles area and can be considered a third major American hip hop genre, after East Coast hip hop and West Coast hip hop. Many early Southern rap artists released their music independently or on mixtapes after encountering difficulty securing record-label contracts in the 1990s. By the early 2000s, many Southern artists had attained national success, and as the decade went on, both mainstream and underground varieties of Southern hip-hop became among the most popular and influential of the entire genre.Tales from the Hood (song)
"Tales From The Hood" is a single by rapper Domino featuring Chill from the soundtrack to the 1995 horror film of the same name.
The song was the only charting single from the gold-certified soundtrack, making it to the Billboard's R&B and rap charts. A promotional music video was released that showed Domino and Chill performing the song in a club along with cuts of scenes from the film. Chill's group Compton's Most Wanted, actress Paula Jai Parker, E-40, MC Eiht, and director Rusty Cundieff make cameo appearances in the video.
Stetsasonic member Bobby Simmons produced the remix entitled the Pink Eye remix which appeared as the second track on the single. The single's B-side was the Kurupt-produced "I'm Talkin' to Myself", which is another track from the soundtrack, performed by NME and Grench the Mean 1.
The song was "chopped and screwed" and mixed by DJ Screw on the mixtape Diary of the Originator released in 1999.The Chopstars
The Chopstars, also known as Chopstar DJs or simply Chopstars, are a group of American DJs and turntablists that perform chopped and screwed remixes of popular music including Drake's 2011 Take Care album, as well as Little Dragon's 2014 Nabuma Rubberband album. Created by OG Ron C, the co-founder of Swishahouse Records, it is a homage to the late DJ Screw. The motto of The Chopstars is "Keeping DJ Screw alive since 2001" and "Dedicated to the memory of DJ Screw."The Leprechaun (Lil' Flip album)
The Leprechaun is the independently released debut album by rapper Lil' Flip. It featured the hit single "I Can Do Dat". It has sold over 200,000 copies and was an underground hit.Under Hawk's Wings
DJ Screw and the Screwed Up Click Presents Under H.A.W.K.'s Wings is the debut studio album by American rapper Big Hawk from Houston, Texas. It was released on January 4, 2000 via Dead End. The album peaked at #68 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.