Remembering DJ Screw, 12 Whole Years Later
In all honesty, death is the one relationship you know will inevitably happen, but you spend every waking hour trying to avoid it. Like that girl who wants to honor herself by slut-shaming and gives you the clap. Or the guy who's so drunk he's braying like a horse to tell you about the great things he did in high school. It's unavoidable and hurts like hell.
Twelve years ago today -- and Christ, that makes me feel old and young at the same time -- we lost arguably the last pioneer behind a turntable. Yes, scratches came before DJ Screw, and so did mixing, but the inventor of an entirely new style of psychedelic hip-hop euphoria died 12 years ago today when Robert Earl Davis, the last true originator behind a pair of turntables, passed.
And that sucked.
I'm more than certain DJ Screw didn't think his works would be featured in a library in the city's largest public university. But I'm sure he probably had a feeling his work would touch a piece of the globe one timely chop at a time.
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He's probably adding his slow, caterpillar crawling "nah'msayin" to any Thanksgiving, Jesus' Birthday or Keep Satan From Coming In party in heaven right now.
We all have our favorite screw tapes and mixes, but it's only Houston hip-hop history if we start scanning back to the late '90s to begin asking what if. Wreckshop was the squad, Fat Pat was the next big thing and one by one, they became legacy members for what we have today.
You still get to learn from Screw, how his timely reversals and cuts wound up paving the way for the birth of an entire culture that now spans the globe. DJs such as Slim K and legends like OG Ron C and Michael "5000" Watts keep the sound alive.
A screwed record gets requested at least once a day on Twitter, maybe more, and Screw mixes maybe even tenfold. Major albums get the Screw treatment thanks to the injection of bass, and certain tapes cause outright destruction on speaker systems and subs. It hurts to really wonder what could have been with Screw had he not passed.
And that just sucks.
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