There are so many different avenues in Rap that carry distinct styles. One style that I’ve never seemed to wrap my head around has been Chopped & Screwed, although there are some songs that I have listened to that embody the style that was birthed in Houston, Texas. Justin Mob, hailing from Montreal, Quebec, is someone who is dedicated to the Chopped & Screwed culture, so it’s only right that I got him to explain his story as to why he loves it and why he’s encouraging others to do the same. This is where I end and where he begins. Enjoy.
While the majority of people are probably already opinionated about the latest album out, I am patiently waiting for the chopped and screwed version of Future’s Dirty Sprite 2. Scrolling through my timeline, I am paying attention to every single purple artwork I might come across. There are several albums I still haven’t listened to in the regular speed. On top of my head, I promise to you I haven’t heard Justin Bieber’s Journals and Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience in regular speed. My first times hearing Tinashe, Jhene Aiko, The Internet, Frank Ocean and Kilo Kish were chopped and screwed. I’m a special case because I truly don’t know anyone in Canada who has that type of attraction towards the sub-genre of music.
My introduction to Chopped and Screwed was almost 15 years ago (2002-03) when I accidentally bought a Three 6 Mafia CD from a friend. He was complaining about the fact it was slowed down. As a huge Three 6 Mafia fan, I automatically bought the album from him for a dollar, since he was about to trash it. In the memory lane, that CD was Da Unbreakables with the hit, Riding Spinners. After that unexpected steal, I listened to the CD once and was really confused about why the pitch was down and why the end of each bars were chopped up. For the first 2-3 months, I had to let the album rest in my library. However, I always had interest in the album since Three 6 Mafia was one of my favourite groups at the time.
Fast forward to 2004-05 where I was watching 106 & Park in my living room and they had that New Joint segment coming up. That’s when the whole world got introduced to Still Tippin’ and the Houston culture as a whole. In spite of my first Chopped & Screwed purchase a year later, I can say ‘Still Tippin’ was probably the song that made me look deep into the C&S genre. I used to download my music on Kazaa and hip-hop torrent website, mixfiend.com. DJ Screw, the originator of the sub-genre, passed away in 2000. By the time I knew about screw music, he was dead. Therefore, I got initiated to the genre by DJ Michael 5000 Watts and OG Ron C – Swishahouse co-founder. These days, I am able to find almost any artists’ music in chopped and screwed since there are so many DJ’s doing it. But when I started doing my research, there were mostly Houston artists. Imagine a 15-year-old teenager from Montreal listening to Lil Keke, Big Moe, E.S.G, Lil Flip, Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Trae The Truth, and Big H.A.W.K. Well, that was me in the early 2000s. Despite the fact I went to Houston once, I am very well-informed about everything that is going on musically, on that side of the town. I was able to connect through Twitter with several writers, DJ’s, and influencers from the 713.
In 2015, my state of mind hasn’t changed a bit and as the Canadian Chopped and Screwed ambassador, my duty is to convert as many people as possible to the genre.
As I write this article, I am playing Chop Care, which is the official Chopped and Screwed version of Drake’s critically acclaimed album, Take Care. Talking about Drake, let me give you a few key factors about him that might go over your head. First and foremost, Drake was discovered in Houston by J Prince Jr. who is the son of J. Prince (founder of Rap-A-Lot). This is a fact people tend to ignore, but I believe his Houston experience made him even better. If you didn’t do your homework about November 18th, then it’s a remix of June 27th which is a legendary freestyle from DJ Screw and several MC’s from the Screwed Up Click.
Up until now, every one of Drake’s albums has been officially chopped and screwed by OG Ron C, which is the leader of the Chopstars. The Chopstars is a group of DJ’s coming from different states in the USA dedicated to chopping your favourite artists the Houston way. If you are new to the sub-genre I would recommend you to start by listening to some of Slim K or DJ Candlestick, who are 2 of my favourites.
I go against the stereotype that says: “You have to be high to enjoy this.” You definitely have to be in a certain state of mind because the music is woozy, immersive, elastic and gummy. It was also an apt companion to the prescription-grade cough syrup (lean). I will point you out the best thing you could do, in part of the chopped and screwed start-up. The slow jams definitely will make you redefine you entire experience with your girl or whoever you listen music with in any privacy setting. The Campus Love, Fuck Action and Nice and Slow series will make you a fan. Once you fall in love with any of these tapes, you can step it up a notch, and listen to one of these critically acclaimed albums I HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
- Michael Jackson – Thriller (Chopped Not Slopped by Slim K)
- Kanye West – My Beautiful Purple Twisted Fantasy (Chopped Not Slopped by Og Ron C & Dj Candlestick)
- Kendrick Lamar – GOOD Kid In a Purple City (Chopped Not Slopped By DJ Candlestick)
- Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Purple Experience (Chopped Not Slopped By Dj Candlestick)
- Beyonce – Chopyonce (Chopped Not Slopped by DJ Candlestick)
Just pick your favourite out of that list and if you feel like the Chopped N Screwed version didn’t enhance your session or at least brought another perspective on the lyrics/instrumental of the album, you can call it a night. On the other hand, if you enjoy it, then you can proceed to the next step, which is your current mainstream hits chopped and screwed.
- Future – 56 Nights (Chopped Not Slopped By Slim K)
- Drake – IYRTITL (Chopped Not Slopped OG Ron C & Dj Candlestick)
- Kendrick Lamar – How To Chop A Butterfly (Chopped Not Slopped By Slim K)
Once you are comfortable with that you can go deeper and reach the Purple Children status by jamming this on a late night ride around town or during your personal session(smoking, drinking … whatever you are doing that make you feel at ease)
In effect, you can find anything you want chopped and screwed. For all my EDM/Electronic friends there is something for you guys as well.
15 Years after my first chopped and screwed experience, I am proud to say my iTunes library has over 3800 songs and 200+ albums/mixtapes chopped and screwed. From Bob Marley, Lorde, Jill Scott, Curren$y, Migos and Troy Ave, I’ve heard it all. My only advice to you is don’t stay away from it and don’t be scared to zone out and catch the purple Holy Ghost. From now on, just remember you haven’t really appreciate any albums/songs if you didn’t get the chopped and screwed version. Feel free to follow me @JustinMob so I can show you the purple way to do it.