After spending most of the 1990s as an infamous local phenomenon in Houston, TX, DJ Screw suddenly found himself gaining sudden notoriety before his unfortunate death in late 2000. The Houston DJ made a name for himself primarily because of his uncanny mixing style, which found him pitching down his records to a lumbering and quite eerie pace. Over the course of the ’90s, what began as novelty actually became a rather lucrative venture for Screw, who produced hundreds of mix tapes, with some estimates projecting his total number of tapes topping over a thousand; furthermore, he sold the tapes at his Houston-based record store, Screwed Up Records and Tapes. Oddly enough, he preferred to release his mixes almost exclusively on cassette, though fans often recorded the mixes and traded them via the Internet; in addition, countless “screwed” remixes of popular rap anthems were widely available on Napster thanks to his cultish following.
One of the few DJ Screw mixes to ever get released on CD, the first entry in the two-volume 3 ‘n the Mornin’ series finds the infamous Houston syrup-sippin’ DJ screwing and chopping tracks by Dr. Dre (“Dre Day”) and LL Cool J (“Rock tha Bells”) along with Laid Back’s old-school classic “White Horse.” As usual, the tracks are slowed down to the point where you can barely recognize them, resulting in a highly disorienting listen.
The second volume in this series concentrates almost exclusively on Texas rappers, as DJ Screw brings tracks by artists including Lil’ Keke, Botany Boys, and ESG to a near standstill. In addition, he throws in Mack 10’s “Fo Life,” a rather well-known track among the other underground tracks. The choice to concentrate on music from the artists comprising Houston’s Screwed Up Click instantly differentiates this mix from the first volume, which was comprised of primarily well-known tracks; therefore, this volume is a bit more representative of Screw’s traditional Southern style.
DJ Screw-3 ‘N THE MORNIN’ PARTS ONE AND TWO (1995)