Author

Jan Jurchak

Date of Award

2016

First Advisor

Larry Wallach

Second Advisor

Asma Abbas

Third Advisor

John Myers

Abstract

DJ Screw is a unique figure in the history and development of Hip Hop music and culture, and has been noticeably under-recognized in light of the variety of different directions in which his sound continues to develop. Although there can be no more true Screw music, the Chopped & Screwed sound is everywhere today, popularized as an precut mould for remixing as well as being a staple in charttopping songs since his death. Why does his sound continue to resonate? DJ Screw's slowed-down mixes also constitute a detailed documentation of a local Hip Hop scene with a sound that went far beyond the borders of the neighborhoods in which it originated, and has been embraced by listeners worldwide. DJ Screw went platinum underground, which is to say he sold well over a million tapes and CDs of his music without formally founding or contracting a record label or outside recording studio. He produced all his music in his home and sold all of his tapes for cash through a group of close friends who formed the Screwed Up Click. His music was local, for Houston by Houston, but also found a home in tape decks across the southern United States and eventually the world. What happens when listeners from further and further away from this site encounter and embrace Screw's sound and way of listening?

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