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DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop

DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop
Screwed Up Click Members

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

Hip Hop Collection Logo

Houston Hip Hop Collections

Although the exhibition will only be on display for six months, the materials on display are being preserved for future generations as part of the Houston Hip Hop collections at the University of Houston Libraries. These collections include the DJ Screw Papers, the DJ Screw Sound Recordings, the HAWK Papers, and the Pen and Pixel Graphics, Inc. Collection. In the future, once they have been cleaned, boxed, and cataloged, these rare materials will be available to scholars, students, and the general public by request in the Special Collections reading room.

If you are interested in donating material to the collection, please contact Julie Grob at jgrob@uh.edu. Donations will not automatically be accepted, but will be evaluated for historical significance, condition, and storage requirements.

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