DJ Screw (Robert Earl Davis Jr., 1971-2000) was the originator of the "chopped and screwed" genre of production that helped define the Houston hip hop sound. On hundreds of thousands of underground mixtapes distributed throughout Houston and the South in the 1990s, he slowed down tracks, repeated key words and phrases, and showcased some of Houston's best freestylers. Rappers including the Botany Boys, Fat Pat, Lil' Keke, HAWK, ESG, Big Moe, and Big Pokey all got their starts on "screw tapes".
This exhibition tells the story of DJ Screw and the loose collective of rappers and friends known as the Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.). But it also explores the larger context of a music scene that has been independent, entrepreneurial, and rough-edged from its beginnings in the 1980s. From pioneers such as Geto Boys, K-Rino, and Street Military to more recent breakthrough artists such as Paul Wall, Z-Ro, and Chingo Bling, Houston hip hop has carved out its own distinctive path.
The exhibit will run from March 19 - September 21, 2012 in the M.D. Anderson Library.
Please go to Awready!:The Houston Hip Hop Conference for more information about the conference, March 27-28, 2012.
Listen to a UH Moment: DJ Screw where Marisa Ramirez interviews Julie Grob about this exhibit.
Digital Library Collection: DJ Screw Photographs & Memorabilia