"POP IN YOUR GREY CASSETTE"
Installation at KINFOLK
April 26th, 2019
94 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 [MAP]
First and foremost, thank you to my cousin Chris. Thanks to whatever those reasons were we had to drive around that day in ‘95. Thanks to that stretch of Imperial Valley Drive that would serve as a passageway to DJ Screw’s multi-track storytelling. Thank you, Lars Anderson, for creating that compelling vision, “blown away guy,” and its influence on sound quality and how music should make you feel. Thank you 1995 for bringing me “Wineberry over Gold,” my first chapter in Screw’s never-ending story. And most importantly Thank You Robert Earl Davis Jr., DJ SCREW for your particular understanding of music. Thank you for making the world feel.
Unbeknownst to MAXELL and Lars Anderson, the creative director of “blown away guy," their excellent presentation of sound would foretell one young man's audio exploits and innovation in Houston, Texas.
Robert Earl Davis Jr., DJ Screw, would eventually turn a 100-minute MAXELL Xlii cassette into his personal journal. These journal entries, chapters, lent themselves more to an epic rather than a mixtape. Through the joys and pains of himself and his crew, S.U.C. (Screwed Up Click), he was able to exact his true intent from listeners.
“I make music you can feel” –DJ SCREW
Herein lie’s the very truth and backbone of Screw music.
It was more than slowing down the pitch or using the crossfader to emphasize a poignant lyric, juxtaposing a rap lyric over a beat from another genre, or masterfully blending in great works of music in general. This was sonic taste-making. Screw, through his vocabulary of music, was able to compose an audio diary with each tape he created.
He didn’t merely dub music onto a tape, he embedded a life force and soul into a cassette.
This is where a MAXELL tape ceased to exist and transforms into a Grey Tape, a Screw Tape.
Andrew Nosnitskys’ 2013 article, “Gray Matters”, goes into further detail of the importance of DJ Screw. Please click HERE to read what is probably the most accurate account of DJ Screw's influence.
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