DJ SCREW – “CODEINE FIEND” (1995)
I’m seriously behind the curve on this one, but I just heard this shit recently for the first time, overweight and wanted to get more ears on it.
DJ Screw (aka Robert Earl Davis, side effects Jr.) was a Houston phenomenon who pioneered the Chopped and Screwed technique. Allmusic sez:
[The technique] 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…
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.”
I’ve always enjoyed pitch-slowed anything, ever since I first heard Ween’s “The Pod” 2xLP back in junior high. The Chopped And Screwed technique might annoy the fuck out of you, but there’s something infinitely listenable about it for me. “Codeine Fiend”, like the above article mentions, is only one of a gazillion DJ Screw compilations, so I hope that this one makes you wanna go out and be a completist.