Screwston, Texas

The Ten (Or So) Most Vital Screw Tapes Of All Time

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June 27: This is perhaps the most iconic Screw tape of all time, featuring an untold number of quotables When it opens with a glassy melody, "That nigga Big Ass Moe," it is just about aristocratic. Something a lot of people don't realize: There are two discs to the tape, as there were with the other tapes. The second one, the one with the Moe/Yungstar/D-Mo/Pokey freestyle, is the one that has aged to become hip-hop divinity. The first CD has songs by Ice T, Bone, Tupac, Freshes MC, Too Short, No Limit and Botany Boys.

The Next Episode

N 2 Deep: Remember? This is the one that opened with Eminem's "I'm Shady" and somehow slithered into 112's "Only You." This one is particularly highly ranked among Southwest Houstonians, on account of the first CD ending with a Guerilla Maab squared moment, where Screw backdoored the monstrously specific regional hit "Fondren and Main" with their mostly underappreciated "Friends Inst."

Eyes On the Prize: Something that became neat about this one: the first disc ends with the tinky-tinks of "Rule Number 1," which featured Pimp C, blending into Lil Troy's megahit "Wanna Be a Baller," whom, of course, Pimp would eventually go on to destroy in the most lopsided rapper beef in history. That thing about the nail versus the hammer, that's what happened between those two.

In The Door

Plots & Schemes: This one opens with Notorious B.I.G.'s "You're Nobody," followed by E-40's "With Me," followed with "Thoughts Of Another Time," which featured 8 Ball. That's a Cool Fat Black Guy trifecta, yo. Maybe Screw didn't stitch those ones together like that for that particular purpose, but maybe he did. Who knows? Either way, it plays.

Headed 2 Da League

Hold Ya Head: It speaks to DJ Screw's brilliance that here he almost - almost - made Shaq sound cool rapping. O'Neal's 1996 not-altogether-unsalvageable song "Can't Stop The Reign" is the second track on the first disc.

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Shea Serrano