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DJ Screw Papers Finding Aid Now Online

Finding Aids, Houston Hip Hop

DJ Screw snapshotExciting news from Special Collections: The DJ Screw Papers are now available for research! This small but important collection is a cornerstone in our Houston Hip Hop Collections and documents the influential late hip hop artist DJ Screw’s activities as a DJ and mixtape creator. Some of the materials in this collection are available for online viewing in our DJ Screw Photographs and Memorabilia Digital Collection.

DJ Screw began DJing and making mixtapes as a teenager while living on the Southside of Houston. By the early 1990s, he began to develop his innovative “chopped and screwed” technique of using recording technology to repeat phrases (a process known as chopping) and slow a song’s tempo (known as screwing). DJ Screw began to receive requests to make tapes tailored for friends and local rappers. He began selling copies of these “screw tapes” from his home. The screw tapes helped to develop the careers of numerous major rappers in the Houston scene, who would subsequently become known as the Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.).

Screw tape list

DJ Screw achieved broader popularity in the mid-1990s, and he continued to sell tapes while releasing four studio albums on Bigtyme Recordz: “All Screwed Up,” “3 ‘N The Mornin’ (Part One),” “3 ‘N The Mornin’ (Part Two),” and “I Wanna Get High with Da Blanksta.” In 1998, DJ Screw opened the store Screwed Up Records and Tapes in order to meet demand for his mixtapes.

Especially interesting items in the collection include song lists for the screw tapes, music production equipment, business documents, and photographs. If you’d like to take a look, come visit us in Special Collections!

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