Today’s Flea Market Funk is going to be the start of something new. Respect The DJ is going to pay tribute to a variety of DJs and producers who have helped shape the game. It’s not going to go in order of say importance or time wise (who came first, etc.), but rather random. Today’s feature as well as future features will be DJs that FMF think have made a solid contribution to the art, and despite what people think, have impacted DJing in a prolific way, left their mark, and influenced other artists around them. I’ve always been fascinated with today’s artist, his motivation behind doing what he did, as well as the music he put out and how it influenced a future generation of Hip Hop.
Today we are going to touch on the life of one Robert Earl Davis, Jr. aka DJ Screw. DJ Screw was a pioneer in the DJ field, and an innovator of his own sound, a sound synonymous with Houston, Texas. He earned the nickname Screw due to the fact that he would scratch records he didn’t like with a screw, making them unplayable. The name DJ Screw is also synonymous with “screwing down and chopping” the sound of a song, something Davis would champion in his career. Walking with a Texas bop was slower than say the Brooklyn bounce, so the combination of the slowed down pitch of the records Screw manipulated while also adding his own production touches here and there to the song contributed to his own signature sound. This signature sound influenced a whole generation of Hip Hop artists. Records that were “chopped and screwed” because of him have changed the face of the game and his influence has shown its importance some 13 years after his death in 2000 through not only his Houston area clique but throughout the world. His death was the result of mixing codeine with drugs aka syrup or sizzurp and since his death there have been multiple tributes, records, and releases that carry on the components of his original sound. His Screwed Up Records store and Screwed Up click left a mark in music (and still continue to do so). Who knows where he would be now had he not passed? Whether or not his sound would have been the same had he not been partaking in this drug activity is irrelevant (but can be argued), the fact of the matter is that DJ Screw changed the game. Houston, TX stand up. Respect the DJ.
Some of DJ Screw’s Signature Sounds in Mixtape Form