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DJ Screw (dj)

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Dj-screw-1-
DJ Screw
Age
Also known as The Originator
Birth date July 20, 1971
Birth name Robert Earl Davis, Jr.
Origin Houston, Texas, United States
Died November 16, 2000 (aged 29)
Styles Hip hop, Political Rap, Chopped and screwed
Occupation(s) DJ, Rapper
Instruments Turntables
Years active 1990-2000
Label(s) Screwed Up Records, Bigtyme Recordz, Wreckshop Records
Associated acts Screwed Up Click
Website

Robert Earl "DJ Screw" Davis (July 20, 1971 – November 16, 2000), was a Houston, Texas-based DJ. He was known as a central figure in the Houston hip-hop community and was the creator of the now-famous Chopped and Screwed DJ technique. This creation led to his nickname of "The Originator." Davis was recognized mostly on a regional level until his death for his various mixtapes and albums. His legacy was discovered by a wider audience when Houston hip-hop began reaching a national audience in 2005.

BiographyEdit

DJ Screw was born in Bastrop, Texas, not far from Smithville, Texas. His father, Robert Earl Davis, Sr., was a long-haul truck driver based in Houston. His mother Ida May Davis (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 foundering; 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 at the age of nine.

A 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 permanently derailed those dreams. He would take her B. B. King and Johnnie Taylor records and scratch them on the turntable the way deejays did, slowing the spinning disc and then allowing it to speed back up, playing with sound. Robert Earl began buying records of his own and playing deejay with his distant cousin Trey Adkins, who would rap. "Screw had a jam box," Adkins told Texas Monthly, "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 cousin a new name: Shorty Mac.

He began DJing at age 12 in 1983, and started his trademark slowed-down mixes in 1990. 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 rappers from the city's south side to rap on those mixes. This coalition of rappers eventually became the formation of the Screwed Up Click.

He moved to a house 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. There are now several Screwed Up Records and Tapes spread out through Texas, including one in Beaumont and in Austin.

Slowing down or “Screwing” tracks became generically associated with locally popular hip hop. That is, changing the tempo of the finished musical product got swept up in the emergence of generic norms for communicating a socially-positioned experience of place. In this way, Screw and the artists with whom he worked set intertextual precedents for communicating their indigeneity through a specific semiotic tactic – slowing down or “Screwing” the music.

Texas Governor Rick Perry honored him by making him an official Texas Music Pioneer.

DeathEdit

Davis died on November 16, 2000. Fans speculated about the true cause of his death. Some believed his tireless work ethic had caught up with him, while others considered his unhealthy lifestyle of constant fast food and little exercise to be the culprit. 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 a beverage called 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.

LegacyEdit

DJ Screw has been a considerable influence in the Houston scene, which is sometimes referred to as "Screwston" in his memory. His distinct musical stylings influenced countless rap acts. Alternative weekly The Houston Press named the 1995 album 3 N' Da Mornin, Part 2 as no. 13 on its list of the 25 best Houston rap albums of all time. The newspaper credited the release for the way it helped shape Houston's hip-hop culture. The newspaper also referred to Chopped and Screwed music as the second most likely type of music to be associated with Texas, an example of DJ Screw's influence in the region.

DJ ScrewfestEdit

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 setlist featuring notable Houston hip-hop acts like Slim Thug, Trae, and Chingo Bling. The first festival, which took place at the Pasadena County Fairgrounds, ran into problems including rain and limited sound equipment.

Screwed Up ClickEdit

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. The expansive crew, which featured more than 15 rappers, were featured prominently on his mixtapes and often spent nights with him recording. Some of the more famous rappers to come out of the Screwed Up Click include Big Hawk, Lil' Keke, and Fat Pat. While many of the S.U.C. rappers enjoyed major-label success, DJ Screw himself remained largely underground. He was uncomfortable with mainstream business practices like bank accounts and copyrights. He would allow members of the S.U.C. to rap on his mixtapes free of charge, despite the large amount of exposure a screw tape feature could provide. A single tape could have reached 100,000 listeners according to some estimates; they often led to further success, including recording contracts.

DiscographyEdit

Main article: DJ Screw discography

"Screw-tapes"Edit

Screw tapes were tapes 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 instrumentals/songs.

The mixtapes were re-released after his death in 2000 and given "chapter" titles. Despite this they were not re-released chronologically. The works date between 1994 and 2000.

  • Chapter 062 - Dead End Hustler For Life '97
  • Chapter 063 - Mourn U Till I Join You '97
  • Chapter 064 - Locked N Da Game '96
  • Chapter 065 - Road To Riches '97
  • Chapter 066 - Layed Back Rollin '96
  • Chapter 067 - Back In Tha Deck '98
  • Chapter 068 - Tre World '98
  • Chapter 069 - Southside Riders '97
  • Chapter 070 - Endonesia '97
  • Chapter 071 - The Final Chapter '96
  • Chapter 072 - Off The Head '97
  • Chapter 073 - Don't Make Dollars Don't Make Sense '95
  • Chapter 074 - Mash For My Dream '98
  • Chapter 075 - Ridin' High '97
  • Chapter 076 - Black Hearted '97
  • Chapter 077 - Only The Real '99
  • Chapter 078 - Nobody Does It Better '97
  • Chapter 079 - Ain't Nuthin' Better '97
  • Chapter 080 - Hold Ya Head '97
  • Chapter 081 - Screwed Up Texas '00
  • Chapter 082 - 98 Live
  • Chapter 083 - Ball 2 U Fall '98
  • Chapter 084 - Str8 Puttin' It Down '97
  • Chapter 085 - Riches Over Bitches '98
  • Chapter 086 - Gees Nite Out '97
  • Chapter 087 - Shinnin' Like The Sun '97
  • Chapter 088 - Blasphemy '98
  • Chapter 089 - Outlaws '98
  • Chapter 090 - 4 July '97
  • Chapter 091 - Take It How You Wanna '97
  • Chapter 092 - Back N Yo Ear '98
  • Chapter 093 - Da Reunion '99
  • Chapter 094 - Still Hoopin'96
  • Chapter 095 - Sittin' On Top Of The World
  • Chapter 096 - Can't Hold Ya Hand
  • Chapter 097 - Players Choppin Game '99
  • Chapter 098 - Four Corners Of The World '99
  • Chapter 099 - Shot Callin '97
  • Chapter 100 - Platinum Shit '98
  • Chapter 101 - Graduation 99
  • Chapter 102 - 3 Years Later '98
  • Chapter 103 - Popped Up Sittin Low '97
  • Chapter 104 - Sittin' Sideways '96
  • Chapter 105 - Everyday Allday '95
  • Chapter 106 - On A Pint '96
  • Chapter 107 - It's All Good '98
  • Chapter 108 - 3 'N Da Mornin'
  • Chapter 109 - Einstein '97
  • Chapter 110 - Feel My Pain '98
  • Chapter 111 - Shit Don't Stop '97
  • Chapter 112 - Jammin' Screw
  • Chapter 113 - Barre '97
  • Chapter 114 - Bow Down '96
  • Chapter 115 - Down And Out '97
  • Chapter 116 - Straight From The Heart
  • Chapter 117 - Return Of The Red '97
  • Chapter 118 - Laftex '98
  • Chapter 119 - No Drank '95
  • Chapter 120 - 10 Deep
  • Chapter 121 - Another Day Another Dollar '97
  • Chapter 122 - Facin' Time

  • Chapter 123 - Snitches '97
  • Chapter 124 - Hurricane Duck '96
  • Chapter 125 - Ooh Wee Man '97
  • Chapter 126 - If The Price Is Right '96
  • Chapter 127 - Southside Holdin'97
  • Chapter 128 - It's Gonna Get Better '98
  • Chapter 129 - In Yo Face
  • Chapter 130 - Back 2 The Lab '98
  • Chapter 131 - Syrup Sippers '96
  • Chapter 132 - Can't Fade It '99
  • Chapter 133 - Money By The Ton
  • Chapter 134 - Hard Times '94
  • Chapter 135 - Steady Dippin'
  • Chapter 136 - Da Funk Is On Your Mind
  • Chapter 137 - Blue 22 '98
  • Chapter 138 - Are U Still Down '97
  • Chapter 139 - 2-2 Liters '96
  • Chapter 140 - Symptoms Of A Thug
  • Chapter 141 - Another Platinum Hit '97
  • Chapter 142 - All Work No Play
  • Chapter 143 - Million Dollar Boys '97
  • Chapter 144 - Heavy 'N Tha Game
  • Chapter 145 - S.U.C. For Life '97
  • Chapter 146 - Only Time Will Tell
  • Chapter 147 - Niggas & Flys
  • Chapter 148 - Do You Feel Me
  • Chapter 149 - Beatin Up Da Block
  • Chapter 150 - Mind On My Money
  • Chapter 151 - Mo Money
  • Chapter 152 - Pullin' On Yo Curve '95
  • Chapter 153 - Drankin' On A Gallon '96
  • Chapter 154 - Pop Trunk '96
  • Chapter 155 - No Love '95
  • Chapter 156 - 100 Minutes Of Realness '95
  • Chapter 157 - Goin' Fed '95
  • Chapter 158 - Squarin' It Off '94
  • Chapter 159 - Out The Shop
  • Chapter 160 - Hail Mary '96
  • Chapter 161 - Same Ol' G '97
  • Chapter 162 - Unlady Like
  • Chapter 163 - Mashing 'N Millenium Mode '99
  • Chapter 164 - Southside Connection '97
  • Chapter 165 - Street Fame
  • Chapter 166 - Telephone Love '97
  • Chapter 167 - A Million Dollars Later '97
  • Chapter 168 - No Time For Bullshit '97
  • Chapter 169 - Still Standing
  • Chapter 170 - Wreckshop '99
  • Chapter 171 - Freestyle Kings '99
  • Chapter 172 - Straight Wreckin'94
  • Chapter 173 - 99 Live
  • Chapter 174 - D.E.A. Bootcamp '96
  • Chapter 175 - Players Ball '94
  • Chapter 176 - Robin St. 4 Life
  • Chapter 177 - In God We Trust
  • Chapter 178 - In The Zone '96
  • Chapter 179 - Mind Over Matter '97
  • Chapter 180 - 3 'N Da Morning Pt. II
  • Chapter 181 - Grey In The Deck '94
  • Chapter 182 - Ridin' Dirty '96
  • Chapter 183 - In The Do '97

  • Chapter 184 - Going Hard '95
  • Chapter 185 - Staying Down '95
  • Chapter 186 - Thug Life
  • Chapter 187 - Dead End Representative '97
  • Chapter 188 - Pay Like U Way '97
  • Chapter 189 - Another Day Another Dub '96
  • Chapter 190 - 3-4 Action '97
  • Chapter 191 - Southsiders '96
  • Chapter 192 - High Till I Die '96
  • Chapter 193 - Something 4 Dat Trunk '95
  • Chapter 194 - Thangs Done Changed '96
  • Chapter 195 - Fear No Man '95
  • Chapter 196 - Sugar Hill '96
  • Chapter 197 - Crawfish 96
  • Chapter 198 - Uncut Funk '96
  • Chapter 199 - Street Dreams '96
  • Chapter 200 - Ain't No Sleepin'96
  • Chapter 201 - Players Nite Out '96
  • Chapter 202 - Still In Da Game
  • Chapter 203 - Almost On Dem Streets '95
  • Chapter 204 - The Meadows 94
  • Chapter 205 - Slippin' Red '95
  • Chapter 206 - Haters Stay Away
  • Chapter 207 - Goin' All Out '96
  • Chapter 208 - Austin 2 Houston Pt. II
  • Chapter 209 - Deep Down South '96
  • Chapter 210 - Bangin' Down The Strip
  • Chapter 211 - Off Parole '95
  • Chapter 212 - Still Hustlin'97
  • Chapter 213 - Made Niggaz '96
  • Chapter 214 - Old School '95
  • Chapter 215 - South Side Players '96
  • Chapter 216 - Flippin' On A Sunny Day
  • Chapter 217 - Sittin' On Chrome '96
  • Chapter 218 - Way 2 Real '95
  • Chapter 219 - Leanin In The Leans '96
  • Chapter 220 - Player Memories '96
  • Chapter 221 - 2 Pints Deep '96
  • Chapter 222 - My Block
  • Chapter 223 - Trey Day
  • Chapter 224 - 97 Live
  • Chapter 225 - Back Up In You '95
  • Chapter 226 - Million Dollar Hands '96
  • Chapter 227 - We Don't Bar It 94
  • Chapter 228 - Back On The Grind
  • Chapter 229 - Thugs Night Out
  • Chapter 230 - Paying Dues 95
  • Chapter 231 - Love 4 The Hood '95
  • Chapter 232 - Tryin 2 survive
  • Chapter 233 - Finally Made It '96
  • Chapter 234 - Still a G at 23 '95
  • Chapter 235 - Flippin 2 Da Classic ‘95 Pt. 2
  • Chapter 236 - Screw & Blunt '96
  • Chapter 237 - Dope Dealin & Cap Peelin '95
  • Chapter 238 - On The Real '95
  • Chapter 239 - 3D '95
  • Chapter 240 - That Classic '95
  • Chapter 241 - Hurtin These Boys '95
  • Chapter 242 - Puttin It Down '96
  • Chapter 243 - Comin' Up Quick
  • Chapter 244 - It Don't Stop '95
  • Chapter 245 - Watin On A Slant
  • Chapter 246 - Willow Glen '95
  • Chapter 247 - Sudden Death '96
  • Chapter 248 - 380d On That Ass

AlbumsEdit

1995 All Screwed Up Big Tyme Records -

Year Album Title Label
1995 3 'n the Mornin', Pt. 1 Big Tyme Records
1996 3 'n the Mornin', Pt. 2 Big Tyme Records
1996 I Wanna Get High with Blanksta Big Time
1999 All Work No Play Reliant Entertainment
2001 The Legend Big Tyme Records
2002 All Work No Play, Vol. 2 Reliant Entertainment
2002 Sentimental Value Wreckless Entertainment
2002 As the World Turns Slow Wreckless Entertainment
2004 June 27 Screwed Up Texas
2004 The Final Chapter Screwed Up Click
2004 N 2 Deep Screwed Up Click
2004 Screw Tape in the Deck T.J. Music
2005 Soldiers United for Cash, Pt. 2 Starz Music
2005 Screw Tape in the Deck, Vol. 2: Texas to the World Bcd
2005 Playaz Nite Screwed Up Click
2005 Greatest Hits Screwed Up Click
2005 11-16-00 Screwed Up Click
2005 Trilogy: A DJ Screw Memorial Bcd
2005 Anniversary Day Wreckless Entertainment
2006 Syrup City Ballas Screwed Bcd
2006 Apt 100: Where It All Began Oar
2006 The Best of the Best, Vol. 2 Screwed Up Click
2006 Screw Tape in the Deck, Pt. 3: Final Chapter Bcd
2006 Royalty of Rap Bcd
2007 11-16-00, Vol. 2 Screwed Up Click
2007 DJ Screw Mix Bcd
2008 Best of the Best, Vol. 1 Screwed Up Click
2008 Fallen Soldiers Screwed Up Click
2008 Best of the Best, Vol. 3 Screwed Up Click
2008 11-16-00, Vol. 3 Screwed Up Click
2010 Forever Screwed Up Click Entertainment

FilmEdit

The 2007 documentary film Screwed In Houston produced by VBS/Vice Magazine details the history of the Houston rap scene and the influence of the Chopped and Screwed sub-culture on Houston hip-hop. The 5-part series has one full episode dedicated to DJ Screw and includes video footage of DJ Screw days before his death.


See AlsoEdit


coming soon

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