DJ Screw, Screw Tape in The Deck

Jon Caramanica

By Jon Caramanica

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Though his main idea was a simple one, DJ Screw was sui generis. Inspired by Houston's recreational codeine-sipping scene, he began pitching records down in the late '80s, turning his favorite rap songs into blurry psychedelia. His output was prodigious — sometimes he released a mixtape a week — but they were just that: tapes. One of several Screw albums released posthumously to fill the void in the CD market, these raw sessions feature several of the rappers who surrounded Screw and often freestyled on his tapes: Lil Flip, Lil Keke, Z-Ro and others. Some songs, like "Southside," have long been Houston classics. Others are true relics, like the late Fat Pat rapping over an instrumental from "Juicy," by the late Notorious B.I.G.