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The Journey of Houston Legend DJ Screw

Robert Earl Davis Jr., better known by his stage name DJ Screw, left an indelible mark on the American hip-hop scene. Hailing from Houston, Texas, DJ Screw was a pioneer of the chopped and screwed DJ technique, which became synonymous with the city's unique musical identity. He was not only a prominent figure in the Houston hip-hop community but also the leader of Houston's Screwed Up Click.

Davis released an impressive catalog of over 350 mixtapes, showcasing his innovative approach to music production. While initially recognized mostly on a regional level, DJ Screw's legacy gained wider recognition after his untimely death from a codeine overdose in 2000. His influence has since permeated across various genres, inspiring a multitude of artists.


Born in Smithville, Texas, Davis's early years were marked by a deep connection to music. Despite initially aspiring to follow in his father's footsteps as a truck driver, Davis's passion for music was ignited after watching the breakdancing movie "Breakin'" and discovering his mother's turntable. His experimentation with scratching records eventually led to the development of his signature style.


At the age of 12, Davis began his DJing journey, and by the early 1990s, he had fully embraced the chopped and screwed technique, slowing down the tempo of tracks to create a hypnotic and immersive listening experience. His mixes, initially made for friends, quickly gained popularity, leading to the formation of the Screwed Up Click, a collective of talented artists from Houston's south side.


Screw's impact extended beyond his music. He opened Screwed Up Records and Tapes, a store that became a pilgrimage site for fans seeking his recordings. Despite his tragic death in 2000, DJ Screw's influence continues to reverberate throughout the music industry.

In recognition of his contributions, Texas Governor Rick Perry honored DJ Screw as an official Texas Music Pioneer. His album "3 'n the Mornin' (Part Two)" was lauded by the Houston Press as one of the city's best rap albums of all time, solidifying his legacy in Houston's hip-hop culture.


Today, DJ Screw's legacy lives on through the devoted following of "screwheads" and the annual DJ Screwfest, a music festival and car show celebrating his life and contributions to music. His story is set to be immortalized in the upcoming biopic "All Screwed Up," ensuring that his impact on the world of hip-hop will never be forgotten.

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