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Samplified Digital Recording Studios

Houston Hip Hop

The growth of the Houston Hip Hop collections at the University of Houston continues as Special Collections is happy to announce the completion of a preservation project linked to the Samplified Digital Recording Studios Records.

Founded in 1990 by Philadelphia native Keenan “Maestro” Mosely (also known as Keenan Lyles, professionally), Samplified Digital Recording Studios hosted some of the biggest names in local and national hip hop.  While artists like Run-DMC, Ice T, and Master P were known to record at Samplified in their visits to Houston, the archive itself documents local artists like DJ Screw, 20-2-Life, and Point Blank who recorded there.

As the finding aid illustrates, the Samplified Records contain photographs, posters, invoices, and multi-track Alesis Digital Audio Tapes (or ADATs) spanning the brief, high-impact period of the late 1990s Houston hip hop scene.  Complementing the recent announcement regarding the publication of the vinyl catalog DJ Screw used to shape the genre of chopped and screwed, the Samplified Digital Recording Studios Records hold several sets of tapes containing master recordings of DJ Screw.  Julie Grob, curator for our Houston Hip Hop collections, has overseen the preservation of these highly fragile and at-risk ADATs, and in the future will be able to provide scholars and fans an opportunity to hear the individual tracks via listening copies in the Special Collections Reading Room.

We invite you to explore the rest of the Samplified Digital Recording Studios Records and all of our Houston Hip Hop collections during our normal research hours.  Those interested in consulting with the listening copies from the recent ADAT preservation project should contact the curator of our Houston Hip Hop collections.

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