Wednesday, November 16, 2005

11-16-00 -- R.I.P. DJ SCREW

Well it's been 5 long years since DJ SCREW, the official King of Houston Rap to this day, passed from our earth. A lot of things have changed in Houston, and a lot of things have stayed the same. This pioneer needs to be remembered as his legacy surely lives on. Major labels are "Screwing and Chopping" records. Radio stations now have "Screwed" shows. People around the world are viewing the sound as revolutionary while not too long ago they looked at it as stupid and backwards. The sound is spreading and his goal of "Screwing up the World" is finally coming into fruition. (Though I think Reagan, Bush, Blair, Chirac and a few others out there kind of beat him to it, in a whole 'nother way).

I never knew DJ Screw personally, and was in his presence only once, at a record store in passing. But I followed his career from Day 1. Admittedly, in the beginning I really did not get what he was doing at all. I'm talking about 1991, 1992 or some shit. When people would play a Screw tape for me, I would almost go ballistic, like "Why the fuck is he slowing this shit down and why the fuck do youlike this shit? Are you insane?" Like seriously. Of course. that era was back in the day of the um, how you say, "Real Hip Hop." And I was of course jamming records from folks like the Geto Boys, Kool G. Rap, Ice Cube, Black Sheep, Del, Public Enemy... much more upbeat shit.

I didn't get it, I'll admit that fully, I didn't get it at all until 1995 when I moved to Austin after a year in New York. I was so happy to be back in the south, hearing MY MUSIC again, and it was about this time when I really noticed Screw starting to really spread his sound and take hold of people outside of his world on the south side of Houston. When I lived in New York I would play records like The Diary and Super Tight for people (sometimes I would put the speakers out the window on my block in Brooklyn just to piss off my dumb butt homeys who would hang outside and smoke blunts), andmost looked at me like I was crazy. Like I was tainting hip hop or something. I always wished that I would have had a Screw tape when I lived there. In 1994 I would have probably given somebody an aneurism out there or some shit.

I moved to Amsterdam in 1996, had a couple tapes I would play for only select friends. They really didn't get it. The mixtape bootleggers I knew didn't even want to dub it and fuck with it, and this is in a city where you can smoke weed 24/7 pretty much legally. In fact I think you are required to smoke weed at every waking moment out there. The Dutch pace is slower than even Houston. Then I came back to Austin in 1997 and it seemed like every car that passed me by was banging Screw.

I got a job at Music Mania in 1998. Music Mania is like the center of hip hop in Austin (o.k. I'm ready for 80% of Austin to dispute that). At least it was back then. You can get everything coming out of Texas at Music Mania. I mean everything from mixtapes to official releases to DVD's to T-Shirts, whatever, Music Mania is the spot.

Back in 1998 though, they refused to sell mixtapes. Granted there weren't as many Texas mixtapes as there are today, but back then they looked at them as bootlegs and didn't want any heat to come down on them from the RIAA. That is until someone walked in claiming to be DJ Screw's cousin and started selling them tapes (which we later learned were bootlegs of DJ Screw's tapes. See DJ Screw wouldn't sell to retail. He only sold hand to hand out of his house and later out of his shop).

Man I'ma tell you this, once Music Mania started selling Screw tapes everyone elses titles began to suffer. All I would hear ALL DAY AND NIGHT behind the counter was "You got Screw?" "You got Screwtapes?" "What Screw you got?" "I heard y'all got Screw tapes." "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?" "You got Screw?"

I'm saying, once word hit the streets that a new batch of Screw tapes were in, usually like 100 tapes at a time, the entire city would flock to the shop and walk straight to the counter (they kept 'em behind the counter) and just stare at the titles until they could decide which one to buy. Literally, 90% of the customers would come in and ask for Screw tapes, if we were out, which we always were after day 1, they would turn around and leave. Not even look at shit. If we had 'em, they'd buy 'em like hotcakes.

Then one morning we all showed up for work and the glass door out front had been broken with a brick. Someone broke into Music Mania and get this, didn't touch anything but the fresh batch of Screw tapes. I'm serious, someone smashed the window, broke in the store and only stole the Screw tapes from behind the counter. They didn't try to open the cash register, they didn't rummage around nothing, they didn't steal any CD's, nothing but Screw tapes were missing the next day.

The owners panicked. I wondered if it was some kid who wanted to come up and wa slike outside his high school that afternoon selling Screw tapes. Or if it was a representative for Screw sending a little message, "Don't bootleg Screws shit."

I have no idea. I bet someone reading this blog knows exactly what happened, but me, I have no idea.

It was his own fault though to a certain extent. I mean, Screw could do what he wanted, but shit, retailers from around the state were SCREAMING to buy Screw tapes. But he wouldn't sell to them. You had to get 'em from the shop, directly from him, or you couldn't get them. Did Screw even do mail order? I'm not sure. All I know is that man was a walking revolution lik eyou have never seen before.

I don't care where you are from or what DJ you might love, no DJ touched his community like DJ Screw did. Gimme the biggest DJ in New York, he may make a lot of money, but he didn't infiltrate the souls of his listeners like DJ Screw. It's impossible to explain if you never saw it, but DJ Screw really changed the game down here. In fact, he might not even have changed the game. I think he really created it.


Tonight on Damage Control we'll be doing our annual tribute to DJ Screw. We do 'em twice a year on the anniversary of his birth in July and on the anniversary of his death in November. Today is actually the real anniversary, 5 years gone now. We expect everyone to come down and show out. We still have to raise money for the station, but shit, I'ma try to have a 2 hour freestyle in that bitch.

Tune in.

Midnight till 2 a.m. Central Time

P.S. When Screw died, I was living in Chicago. Somebody hit me on the internet about it. I really don't remember who told me. I got on the phone, started making calls to Houston and it was confirmed. I remember it was cold as hell that night. I don't even know why, but I just grabbed some tapes, walked out the house and went to the car and drove around for a couple hours just jammin' Screw. Calling people on the cell phone just freaking out. He was one of those dudes you just expected to be around forever. He was more than just a DJ, he was Houston.


Blogger csdd3rd said...

Real good post Matt.

***RIP DJ Screw***

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Pre K said...

R.I.P. DJ Screw

"When Screw died, screw died..."

2:31 PM  
Anonymous nick sweepah said...

wow man, nicely done.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous DJ D-Niro said...

Maaaaaan! growing up in the ATX i remember fools would say dont leave them Screw tapes laying around in yo car where they can be seen, cuz folks will break into yo shit just for them joints and nothing else. I didnt get it at first either til i heard some Tela screwed and that was it, music never sounded right again at a normal pace. I remember being at this club on riverside when the dj announced that Screw died, it was a thursday night, i swear i thought i was drunk like Nah he aint say what i think he said. Its sad that he aint get to see how everyone is biting his whole style and dont know who he is. I wore a R.I.P Screw shirt (it has pictures of Screw on it) to the barber shop today (currently in Michigan) and dude was like "who is that" I was like fool thats DJ Screw. I guess fools just thinks its a name of a style and dont realized who that name comes from. These fools up north jamming commercial releases that are screwed and chopped and think thats real. They dont get it when i try to tell them about "real" Screw tapes like "Unpredictable" and "Ballin' in the Mall." R.I.P Screw.

6:58 PM  
Blogger TexasHeater said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:55 PM  
Blogger TexasHeater said...


11:56 PM  
Anonymous urqdp said...

Great article..

on another note, you know if that Rapid Ric & Trae - Whut It Dew 3 will be available by the time he does the show in houston on the 25th?


7:02 AM  
Anonymous Sl@brun3r said...

yeah , I remember when Music Mania was the spot for all the hottest texas shit, especially Dj Screw. I remember when it got broke into as well, never knew the details till now.


10:41 AM  
Anonymous dj d-niro said...

The hood spot in the ATX was Custom Cards on 12th Street for them Screw Tapes. It was the only time I ever saw white dudes at that time on 12th.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous coryd said...

mann. that was a good read.

r.i.p. dj screw

4:56 PM  
Blogger Dj Fo20 said...

Watch yo' Screw. "You can leave 2 sticks, a Swisha', and a Fo' and a Screw tape on the counter. Aint nobody takin' none of those drugs. The fo' will still be there, the sticks will be there, knowmsay'n? The Swisha be there, but wheres the Muhphukkin Screw? Everybody want Screw"............-
3'ndaMornin'- R I P Screwzoo -

November 16th, I sat and cried , cause that was the day that Houston, Texas died. - Already - 1

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you please post the dmg cntl show? i missed it. i would like to hear more Screw.

10:44 PM  
Blogger *CUT YO THOAT* said...


1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mayn dis shit is hard i caint believe SCREW been gon 5 years now. SCREW wuz a true gardian angel sent from above,
showin niggaz non but love,
alwayz holdin it down,
alwayz wit a smile, neva a frown,
I ben jammin screw since 97 never SCREW, but it felt like i did and any fool dat jamms SCREW nows wat im tomebout. theres so much to say about dat nigga.



6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all i wanna say is RIP to the living legend DJ SCREW.
living out in england we cant get screw tapes but ive been able to cop alot from cd stores on the internet but what i dont understand is why fatt 5000 vaults claims to be a legend, yeh what a legend at stealing sum1elses idea? yeh fat vaults is a whack dj and f**c swisha house aswell they aint sh*t claiming to run houston boy it started on the southside and it will forever be southside

rip dj screw

1 duce
lil c

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mannn!On da real Screw is a legend for us in da H.It is such a blessing though dat Screw is finally hittin da map.I MEAN IM BORN AND RAISE in H-TOWN.I 've been hearing it for years & now der making a big deal of it.DJ SCREW RIP. i love you man.You'll alwayz b in our heartz in da 1 & only

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This right here was a really good post..I cried while I was reading it..You would never think that someone from Iowa, would listen to SCREW, but I did and I do. Like all my friends never heard of SCREW, or SUC, or matter of fact any rapper from Houston, till I came in tha picture...I remeber askin my home gurl if she liked screw. She was like what in tha hell are you talkin about? what is screw? I was like gurl sit down..and listen..SCREW is a muzik style and SCREW is a person DJ SCREW...I pulled out a tape that I had (cuz i rarley left home without it) An u taklin this like last summer...this girl didnt have a tape player so you know, I had to take her out to her momz car...I put it in, and she was like whoa! what in tha hell is this shyt? I looked her straight in tha face an told her to take what she said back, she juss looked at me..I told her real talk, cuz I seen her movin to the she was like okay, okay, yeah i like present day and time, she jammin the DJ SCREW cd's that I make for her.. One day when I was over she was jammin "The People's Champ" the screw'd version i looked at her an was like, now I kno you dont think WATTS is better than DJ SCREW, she was like hell nah, but he iight.. so I had to stop her, i had to play sum that RO for her... "AND IM'A RIDE ON WATTS, TILL HIS FAT ASS APOLOGIZE FOR SAYIN WHAT HE SAID ABOUT SCREW, LOOK WHO URE STYLE NAMED AFTER MOTHERFUKA URE NUMBER 2" but I've written to much, and for anyone who reads this.sorry its so long, I had to get this out, much love...

**Love & Respect To DJ SCREW and may he always Rest In Piece. Now he got H.A.dUb.K up there with him. HAWK prolly wreckin the mic while SCREW's on the 1's and 2's** **RIP DJ SCREW, RIP BIG HAWK..**

**--an now every november 16th niggaz cant find me**

Mz K-K

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^I'm from Iowa too and I've been gettin all my friends into Screw...fuck Watts

R.I.P. Screw, HAWK, and Pat...FREE Z-RO!!

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For real that nigga was a fuckin legand from anywhere you where from and if you aint heard any screw tapes hear one song any song and I beat your punk ass will like it and forget all about that pussy shit you see on MTV and the radio like hear the song Dj screw - to much lean in my cup that was the first song I heard and I was hooked like that boi Z-Ro I heard all his songs and I know what he said about dj screw and he was a legend that I had to hear one of is songs you know what Im talkin bout so go cop those tapes even thow they old cuz them tapes or cds will beat any cd your hearing cuz this slow chopped and screwed shit goes good when your sippin on that purple for real or when your high just trust me!!!!!!!!!!


FREE Z-RO 2006-2010

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man DJ Screw we miss ya dog... we just going to keep screwin it up for ya doe baby one love chunk up a Duce for the Greates South DJ Screw RRRRRRR.IIIIIII.PPPPPP(r.i.p)

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Baby said...

Thank You

9:40 PM  
Blogger gutzler2000 said...

RIP DJ Screw....
This man has influence my turn-tables and never had the chance to meet him..... But with my music he lives on through me... and all the other screw heads... I just want everybody to know what he did for Texas.... I have people asking me to buy my tapes... and all I till them is google dj screw and get the gray tapes...
R.I.P DJ Screw ------ way before your time.....

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10:01 PM  

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