DJ Screw

Genres: Urban
Decades: 1990s 2000s


Robert Earl Davis Jnr., Houston, Texas, USA, d. 16 November 2000, Houston, Texas, USA. A leading figure on Houston’s underground scene, Davis’ contribution to the city’s rise as a force on the rap scene was unfortunately overshadowed by his tragic overdose in 2000.

Davis began recording mix tapes as DJ Screw in the early 90s, and had soon developed his trademark style: well-known tracks were ‘screwed down’ to a funereal pace, creating an eerie atmosphere reminiscent at times of the UK’s trip-hop genre. The sound was directly influenced by Screw’s advocacy of ‘syrup sippin’’, a southern rap phenomenon based around the drinking of codeine-laced cough syrup, which induces a sluggish, hallucinatory state in the user. Other advocates of the drug included Three 6 Mafia, who enjoyed a minor hit with ‘Sippin’ On Some Syrup’.

Screw recorded hundreds of mix tapes...

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