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DJ Screw

After spending most of the 1990s as an infamous local phenomenon in Houston, TX, DJ Screw suddenly found himself gaining sudden notoriety before his unfortunate death in late 2000. The Houston DJ made a name for himself primarily because of his uncanny mixing style, which found him pitching down his records to a lumbering and quite eerie pace. Over the course of the '90s, what began as novelty actually became a rather lucrative venture for Screw, who produced hundreds of mix tapes, with some estimates projecting his total number of tapes topping over a thousand; furthermore, he sold the tapes at his Houston-based record store, Screwed Up Records and Tapes. Oddly enough, he preferred to release his mixes almost exclusively on cassette, though fans often recorded the mixes and traded them via the Internet; in addition, countless "screwed" remixes of popular rap anthems were widely available on Napster thanks to his cultish following.

Yet it's hard to imagine Screw's legacy being what it is if not for his role as an adamant advocate of "syrup sippin'," a Southern rap phenomenon involving codeine-infused cough syrup -- the resulting intoxication induces a hallucinatory state where everything slows down and becomes the senses swirl. As marijuana was to early-'90s gangsta rap, LSD was to late-'60s psychedelic rock, ecstasy was to late-'80s rave -- and so on -- the syrup sippin' advocated by Screw's trippy hip-hop mixes led to a small drug movement within the late-'90s Dirty South genre, reaching its zenith with Three 6 Mafia's hit "Sippin' on Some Syrup" in 2000. It's hard to deny that this phenomenon wasn't as important to Screw's popularity as his music was (especially considering some of his tape titles: Syrup & Soda, Syrup Sippers, Sippin' Codeine, etc.) Still, Screw did serve as a leader for Houston's burgeoning rap scene; his home studio, The Screw Shop, functioned as the home base for what was loosely referred to as the Screwed Up Click, including semi-successful rappers such as Big Pokey and Lil' Keke, along with about 30 others were known locally.

Ironically, when Screw was found dead in his studio of a fatal heart attack at the tender age of 30 on the morning of November 16, 2000, the Houston Chronicle published a story stating that police suspected Screw of overdosing on the same syrup that he so adamantly advocated. Weeks later the theory proved valid, making the artist the victim of his own self-promoted phenomenon. More unfortunate, though, was the loss of Screw to Houston's fledging scene, which seemed on the verge of being nationally recognized as a Southern rap mecca. His legacy lived on, though, since his trademark mixing style was by no means exclusive, as countless imitators had arisen in the South by the time of his death, the most noteworthy being the Swisha House and Beltway 8 record labels. ~ Jason Birchmeier
full bio

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Comments

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#Scewed up for lif3
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H town changed to screwstown the day he was gone
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MAN THE FIRST TIME I LISTENED TO SCREW WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. ME AND MY BOYS WERE PARTYING AND ONE OF THEM SAID YOU GOT TO LISTEN TO THIS MAN. HE PUT THE TAPE IN AND THATS WAS A RAPP BRATHA. R.I.P. SCREW AND THE REST IS HTOWN HISTORY !!!
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Am...musical hoe.. Leon.. Mother fighting hard... I always won.



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P**a you couldn't even see me talking bout ain't that chewy from the TV. #RIPScrew #FreeSPM
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Screw Head till I'm dead and gone
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R.I.P screw
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Screwed up fo life
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screwed up like 4 flats bar promethazine IH10 GANGSTAS
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DJ SCREW 4 LIFE* TILL I DIE. Tha best of tha best!
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SCREW TILL I DIE IH 10 HALLA RIP SCREW
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gtkersey
I been listen to screw for 18 years now and it still bang harder than this new bullshit they play on the radio biting his style without paying respect. Screwed up til I die - love you Screw!
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Dj screw Tha originator r.i.p. No one can do it like u mane.
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RIP TO MA N**GA SCREW. H TOWN REPPIN 4 LIFE.
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S.I..p
Tip it up!
;)
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t.tufono2010
Love and respect Texas made 817
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R.I.P Screw. Tx made....936
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15 years ago R.I.P R.E.D
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RIP Robert Earl Davis
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t.tufono2010
Texas made 817
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3rd ward rip screw
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R.I.P DJ SCREW s.u. c 4 life dj screw made the best music ever
s**t dj screw dead RI.P
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Reppin 713 eastside H-town
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Still living through his music a legacy!
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R.I.P DJ Screw
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RIP THE Greatest
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r.i.p. D.J. sCrew
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tyreewhite14
Rip king of the south Dj Screw
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R.i.p DJ SCREW
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R.I.P. DJ SCREW
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Pass it on right and don't choke batman out
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jaydoublec41
Have a better life
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Already....S . U . C for life........
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Stay Screwed Up
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Tha real s**t from tha south too tha north of houstone teja$ . jr 584 H8$
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Miss you Screw, it ain't the same without you. #ScrewLuv
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Legendary,No n e Replicable.. . I f you know the truth He is the Truth
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O.G. n**ga KUSH GANG H-TOWN
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jcpig1972
This man started something that can't be stopped. Miss you Screw. Swangin an banging....
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Happy Birthday Screw!!!!!!! ! ! ! The King of the South 4eva screwed up!!!!!!!
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S.u.C.for life cuzz,OG sixo Crip Windsor village H TOWN, tx cuzz
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Representin from the 210....still love bangin that Screw!
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REAL MEXICANO VATOS WE TRIP AND FALL THEN GET BACK UP.....
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S.u.c. 4life. Atx 512
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WHEN MY MIND GOES BLANK...
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South side Arkansas Rip screw
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Rip to D j screw for life ..........
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Screw for life r.l.p
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Shoutout to PONCHOV SALTY WATER RECORDS
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LA neta to do pariva ....
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