A New Book on DJ Screw Tells His Story With Over 130 Voices

DJ Screw’s imprints are spread all over mainstream music, right off the top of Travis Scott’s charts Astroworld The album that depicted the producer and rapper’s career in the stratosphere, to Solange Knowles’ poem to Houston, When I get home, to her big star sister’s re-release song “Bow Down / I Have Been On”, which preceded her fifth studio album. This music slows down the sounds and their rhythms, transforming the sounds into molasses the way Screw was made famous, first in Texas, then nationally. A lot of music finds its origins in the skull style, such as slowdown + echo Editing of popular songs littered the web or re-imagined Chopstars “cut, not sloping” for entire projects, such as the 2016 Academy Award winner’s soundtrack. moon light.

in a new book DJ Screw: A Life in Slow RevolutionAnd Coming April 19, 2022 from University of Texas Press, Galveston Writer and Writer Lance Scott Walker Traces Scull’s path to prominence, from his meticulous study of his mother’s records as a pre-teen – when her precious “Ring My Bell” record and other treasures were scratched into oblivion – to earning a mixed-strap diamond ring for making his own culture at a landmark New York City award show Less than a year before his untimely death in 2000. Weaving flashes of his voice into an oral history of more than 130 Scholl friends, family, heroes, students, and more, Walker compiles a complete picture of the famous DJ’s legacy.

Walker’s book comes after 16 years of research and writing for four other titles archiving the Houston rap scene. During his work, homages and other explorations of Scholl’s story have surfaced, particularly in the past few years. Summer Season of the Spotify/Gamelet Hip-Hop Podcast Mongols It was intended for screw. Last December, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Isaac Yeoman and Sony were too Development Full-length biography of DJ Screw after Yowman debuted a shorter movie That winter. Last January, Yoman aroused A documentary about DJ Screw as well.

“The nice thing about DJ Screw’s story is that there are so many different ways to tell it,” Walker says. “I am so excited that Houston has a group of young writers who are doing a great job there: Brandon Caldwell, Shelby Stewart, Mako Vaniel, Rocky Rocket, Julie Group, Shea Serrano there because he has so much chronicled the hip-hop scene in Houston. I am happy with the amount of things that I was able to get it into the book, but I’m glad it’s not the last word.” Here, he talks about his entry into the screw cannon and offers an exclusive first look at the cover for DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution.

Your funky DJ Screw resume includes dozens of votes. How does your relationship with these people look like in his orbit?

It’s different with everyone. There are some people I’m closer to; There are others with whom I butted heads a little. But that’s also why you spend your time on something like this, because people get to know you over a long period of time; Your intentions and what you are trying to do become clear over time. You end up developing friendships. There are people I text with on holidays, there are people whose birthdays I know text, and there are people who call me on my birthday. I’ve been working on this book for a long time so anyone who’s been a part of it or got into their orbit, I’ve had the opportunity to explain it to them, I’ve had a chance for them to see some of my other work out there and see what I’m doing and how I try to make their voices stand out from mine.

In the introduction to the book, you mention that you are an outsider in Scholl’s life, that you enter it as a white writer and that you can’t tell his story alone. What made you decide to take this book?

Nobody else was doing that. I’m slowly starting to mention it to a lot of people, because I kind of wanted to take a temperature – is anyone else writing this book? Is there a black writer writing this book? Even 15 years ago, I didn’t understand that this was such an important part of perspective. Over years of taking my temperature, looking around, and keeping my ears on the floor, no one was writing the book. That’s why I started working on it slowly. And all I can really do in the end is try not to make the book’s narrator too white. That’s why I formatted it the way I did, where most of what you read is in other people’s words. I wanted to highlight the voices of the people around him and be someone to tell you the story about the campfire based on all the conversations he had.

What’s the latest thing you’ve heard about DJ Screw’s effect?

There’s a song I heard at the grocery store days ago. It was an R&B song, and I commented and took a screenshot because I was with my wife. I was like, “Do you hear that double-click?” She’s like, “What?” I was like, “Do you hear the double click?” I was like, “That’s from DJ Screw over there.” [The song is VanJess’s “Feelz Right.”] It’s not that no one else has done it, and it doesn’t mean that no one else has done a double-tap, but there is a very specific way, like a very specific way in which John Bonham or Omar Hakim played the drums. There is a very specific feeling they had on the drum assembly, and there is a very specific feeling that a screw was on the turntables that no one else could replicate.

Have you ever imagined what Brule would have made or even how other people in music might have faced him had he not died?

I think we’ll know a lot more about the artists he would have taken under his care. This was a big part of his life. There are probably a lot of people who didn’t become artists just because their lives took a different path, and their paths didn’t intersect with DJ Screw because he wasn’t here. I think this is probably the most profound part of it. But we talk a lot about how he was just a guy with vinyl and cassettes, which is true, but he’s also gotten the equipment over the years, upgraded his gear as he got more money, was going to buy more tape decks and processors and that’s kind of.

I think maybe he would have taken the digital age in his own way, on his own terms. Technology is now crazy about how fast it can go and how much artists and musicians can do it with just the press of buttons. He did not use computers, nor did he use any kind of digital processing. He only made, as far as I know, one recording that even went to digital tape. So I think he was going to keep experimenting, and I think his business sense was going to change, maybe start naming and doing a few different things with the resources he already had, and using technology in a way that felt right for him.

In the book, she writes, “When he played things back—to beat the drums or repeat whole words or phrases—Brühl was emphasizing what he wanted to hear.” Do you hear the same intent from people cutting music today?

Not quite, but also, I’m not as familiar with contemporary things as I’d like to be. Of course when you listen to a different mix of slow and cut music you’ll hear some of that, but I think the magical thing when you’re listening to DJ Screw is that you hear something that relates to it in person. . This doesn’t mean other DJs don’t feel like it, of course. But this is the creator and he is the person who took these different techniques and created this technique with them, this is a stream of consciousness where he wanted to take his music. You have to think about it, it’s a whole different world. DJ Brühl didn’t live to see 9/11. He lived in a completely different time than we’re talking about. So we’re talking about different things, music, ’90s gangsta rap – that was his cockpit, that’s what he was listening to. They are talking about different things. So he’s taking things back from his age he hears, he feels. And as I said, it’s not that artists don’t do it today, but there’s no magic like the way it was heard.

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