The days of Screwed Up Records & Tapes may be numbered. Just two days after Houston's hip-hop community marked the anniversary of DJ Screw's wildly cherished "June 27 Freestyle," Rocks Off has now learned that the iconic Southside record store has been facing eviction for some time now.
If the landlord, Dr. Pondexter, has his way, Screwed Up Records & Tapes will go the way of CBGB, 1520 Sedgwick Ave, and 8-track tapes. Pondexter, who leased the property to Screw's estate, told them that he needs the space to expand his dental business.
While news of the eviction will definitely surprise some, the issue has been dangling atop Screwed Up Records & Tapes like the Sword of Damocles for over five years now. Big Bub, one of the shop's caretakers, says the landlord first hinted at it after Screw passed.
Since then, it's resurfaced on and off. At one point, says Bub, Screwed Up's owners offered Dr. Pondexter $100,000 to purchase the tiny shack. He declined. It's impossible to get to the bottom of Dr. Pondexter's motive for trying to reclaim that part of his building without hearing from the man, but it appears that money isn't very high on the list.
Rocks Off left a message with his office requesting comments, and had not heard back at press time.
Both parties have already slugged it out in court, and the eviction judge ruled that Pondexter has the right to reclaim his property. Screwed Up Records & Tapes has filed an appeal and is awaiting a new court date.
Last December, we ran a piece on the store's cultural significance. The store has managed to weather a slew of challenges, from hard times to bootlegging. But it's hard to imagine it will survive this one. Hip-hop fans better pray there's a Screw fan in Pondexter.
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As for Plan B, the shop has a few options on the table but nothing concrete has materialized so far. Naturally, company morale is down.
"Everyone's heartbroken about it," says Big Bub. "People are aggravated, but we're still trying to stay positive."