DJ Screw: The Untold Story


Phases & Stages

DJ Screw: The Untold Story


Robert Davis, aka DJ Screw, left as enormous an imprint on Texas rap as anyone ever has or possibly ever will. By "chopping and screwing" pre-existing songs, which basically entailed dramatically slowing tempos and repeating selected phrases and drum kicks, Screw created his own subgenre of a hip-hop that specifically catered to the codeine-drenched streets of his own Southwest Houston. While everyone seems to think that Screw died from a drug overdose in 2000, DJ Screw: The Untold Story points to recurring heart problems, in addition to the prospect that Screw just might have worked himself to death. Countless interviews with his family and Screwed Up Click cohorts reveal the sheer amount of effort that Screw put into producing and selling thousands upon thousands of his now-legendary "grey tapes" from the front gate of his own home. Recounting sessions that saw Lil' Keke and the late Fat Pat pushing freestyle rhymes into uncharted stratospheres, the DVD formulates a collective reverence for Screw as not just a conceptual pioneer but also a community leader. While the volume level is inconsistent over the course of the 90-plus-minute documentary, insights offered by Nik-Nak, C-Note, Lil' Flip, Big Pokey, Z-Ro, Trae, and the late Hawk provide enough valuable content to justify constant remote-control adjustments.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Sunday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Travis Scott
Astroworld (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Oct. 12, 2018

Texas Platters
Kydd Jones
Homecoming (Record Review)

Clara Wang, Sept. 7, 2018

More by Robert Gabriel
KJ Hines
KJ Hines
Prince of the City

April 27, 2007

Play the Role
Play the Role
Bavu Blakes is not afraid

April 27, 2007

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle