DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop

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.


About the Exhibit


1st Floor MD Anderson Library


March 19-September 21, 2012