DJ SCREW

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.

DJ Screw – Codeine Fiend (ZIP file)

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793 Responses to DJ SCREW

  1. Matt says:

    I’ve been known, sometimes, to put down a bottle of Nyquil and drift off and on with pleasant slumbers… I probably wouldn’t dare amp it up with anything like Codeine, but… I figure, if this sounds anything like I think it oughta sound, it’ll be good to have in the arsenal. thanks!

  2. darin says:

    NPR (National Public Radio) did a story on screwed music that is worth checking their web-site for. They used to have all their shows archived as Real Player audio but I don’t know if that’s changed or not.

  3. p says:

    yeah, me too. though only robitussin maximum strength cough. though one time i was prescribed robitussin with codeine and i saved it for later. and only with a copy of “Live Evil” on hand. http://www.myspace.com/badonpurpose

  4. nattymari says:

    Glad you’ve come across one of my musical obsessions for a little more than a decade. I felt like I was on the late freight in 98 when I was turned onto Screw and Swishahouse. Since then, it’s been one of my dearest friends.

    My blog is full of music… some slowed up, some not. give it a try:

    http://nattymari-unfortunate-events.blogspot.com/

    As for the honorable Robert Davis (Who I hold as sacred as Lee Perry, King Tubby and Brian Wilson – no joke) I recommend:

    2 Liters (sometimes booted as 2 Litres)
    Southside Still Holdin
    Hellaraiser (hard to find, I can up it)
    and
    June 27th

    These Gray Tapes (as Screwheads call them, because they were recorded on Maxell 100 or 94 minute tapes) are prime examples of Screw at his (and its) best. All four feature extended instrumentals (some a whole tape side in length) with the SuC freestyling over them. This allows both the msic and the sluggishness of the vocals enough time to get hypnotic and mind altering.

    Seek them out, enjoy – and don’t hesitate to email or ask me about this artform. I’m pretty darn dedicated to it – as a musical form… often hard to find people that don’t approach it as a cultural or strictly hip-hop phenomena.

    You may also like Swishahouse and Og Ron C’s Fuck Action series which is slowed up rnb. I believe it’s FA40 that has disc 4 – which is slowed up oldies… really great.

    Beltway 8 are also a great dj unit of the genre… a personal favorite. DJ D and DJ Black (Three Six Mafia’s in house slowed dj) is also worth mention.

  5. nattymari says:

    here’s the Hellraiser freestyle…

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7158967-716

    I am uploading more of my favorites as we speak. A short 9 hour break for work and I’ll share more.

  6. nattymari says:

    here’s the “Wanna Be a Baller” freestyle from Southside Still Holding. Notable bcause it includes one of the few appearances by Lil Flip, who later claimed to be a bigger member of the Screwed Up Click than he was… and has both Cl’Che and Enjoli on it (both female mcs would later start a war over who was the “First Lady of the SUC.”

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7159163-081

    It’s broken into parts (ripped from the legit cd copy of the tape) but the three parts complete an extended freestyle that includes an acapella of Fat Pat’s “Tops Drop” and the original Lil Troy song.

  7. nattymari says:

    Here’s the “Come and Take a Ride” freestyle off “2 Liters.” A personal favorite… some people discount it because the two emcees are later and lesser known members of the SUC. I simply love how they ride the beat for 50 minutes straight. Really gives you a feel for what it was like during Screw’s late night sessions in his Apartment.

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7159261-f22

  8. nattymari says:

    here’s a few tracks off “No Drank.”

    These feature Fat Pat and Lil Keke – two core members of the classic Screwed Up Click (which includes, but isn’t limited to Big Moe, Keke, Pat, Big Pokey, HAWK, Mike D, Al-D, C-Note and Will Lean (Botany Boys,) Lil O, ESG and 3-2.)

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7163852-870

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7163909-f4a

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7163942-92e

    and yeah… the WANNA BE A BALLER freestyle uses a verse from Fat Pat from ’25 Lighters’ not ‘Tops Drop.’

    Perhaps tomorrow I’ll do a mix of SUC classic tracks (not freestyles)

  9. nattymari says:

    These 4 files (rar’ed) comprise the famous “Long Drive” freestyle over the beat for Kriss Kross’ “The Streets Ain’t Right.” This freestyle comprises almost all of Side 2 of the “June 27″ tape.

    This is highly lauded as the best Screw track, and is most definitely the most famous. For the most part it’s Big Moe, Big Pokey, Keke and Yungstar. there’s a couple other lesser known guests (including D-Mo some dude named HAIRCUT JOE.)

    While I understand it, I disagree that it is the best track. I personally like the first Pat freestyle I upped from NO DRANK a lot better… as well as the 2 Liters freestyle and a few others I haven’t upped yet.

    Still, it is a great representation of the sound, and one of the first songs most people are directed to when first discovering Screw. I was given this and Swishahouse’s CHOPPIN EM UP 4 as my introduction. All the classic Screw components are in this song…Moe’s sing song chorus, Yungstar’s infectious slur and Keke’s lazy raps. Radio hip hop fans will notice a lot of samples taken from this track.

    http://www.divshare.com/download/7164171-d75

  10. dj empirical says:

    dude! awesome.

    and MAJOR thanks to nattymari. i’m not quite to your level of obsession, but i feel like i’m getting there. i’ve been chopping/screwing 80s tracks in sets every now and agan — i kinda want to do a whole mix Screw-style of 80s stuff.

  11. dj empirical says:

    and another comment to say that the captcha on this site is now my fave ever! :)

  12. nattymari says:

    Empirical-

    I was going to cite the amazing captcha… but felt like a nerdy otaku!!!

    Check out my blog… lots of slowed tracks throughout… from modern indie to 70′s cheese. Basically my love is for mind altering music… Dub, Screw and Pop Psych topping the list.

  13. nattymari says:

    I have a little time off… some beer and oxy… so here’s a mass mailing of Screw and slowed tracks:

    ESG & Slim Thug – Braid and Fades (OG Ron C)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186182-2a7

    Fat Pat Freestyle (DJ Screw)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186205-e77

    Building Block Freestyle (Beltway 8)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186232-ffc

    Outkast – Player’s Ball (DJ Screw)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186261-20e

    Westside Connection – The Gangster, The Killer and The Dope Dealer (NIN HURT Beat) (DJ Screw)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186297-f2e

    Lil Wayne – Lights Off (DJ Screw)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186328-88d

    Digital Underground – Fool Get a Clue (DJ Screw)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186340-a2e

    And Empirical: hit me up at dfmckaharay@yahoo.com or nattymari on twitter… would love a collab of slowed 80s w/ efx.

    BTW: those who don’t know, us Screwheads say SLOWED… only Screw could SCREW a track… so anyone else slows it. In my case, using the delay and echo – I slur and blur. that said… great to see some people get the power of Screw and slowed music.

    My theory has always been that dub fucks with space and Screw with time… which makes it str8 ass quantum music. These experiments in breaking tracks down via science have led to all major breakthroughs in 20-21st century music. Dub is responsible for all sequenced and tracked music… and Screw’s influence is already being felt in the mainstream. these innovations are what is leading music into the 4th Dimension. C’mon… artists like Fever Ray are starting to show their Screw influence. Granted others pitched music down before Screw (Bauhaus’ TERROR COUPLE KILL COLONEL and Brian Wilson’s DO YOU LIKE WORMS for example) but the impact of Houston and Screw is just starting to be felt.

  14. nattymari says:

    Some Swishahouse and some other shit. Swishahouse is Michael 5000 Watts and OG Ron c with their cadre of mcs, featuring Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Chamillionaire.

    Xplosive Freestyle
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186473-470

    Real Slim Shady Freestyle
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186480-398

    Paul Wall Freestyle
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186492-8d5

    T.I. – What You Know About That (Swishahouse Mix)
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186502-be7

    Freestyle
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186608-592

    Freestyle
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186636-6f8

    Chalie Boy – Grey Goose
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186654-7dc

    Lil Flip/Z-Ro – Da Cop
    http://www.divshare.com/download/7186670-bd0

  15. dj empirical says:

    in looking for a tracklist to figure out which tracks were on which disc, i actually found a higher bitrate copy, with scans: http://bottomofthemap.blogspot.com/2008/05/dj-screw-chapter-49-codeine-fiend.html

  16. dj empirical says:

    please note that my last comment was not at all meant to downplay ECR’s post — thanks *again* for posting this!

  17. keepsy says:

    this is all brilliant and i am now pitchbending the 3rd dimension using whammy bars from dimensions 4-12.

    nattymari, you are awesome! I’m swimming in molten sound.

    and kudos as always to the EggCity aqueduct of specialness for blowing my iTunes queues away with polymorphic stupendousness and subterranean archivalisms.

    Viva!