Panelists discuss the ‘Screwed Up’ hip-hop history of Houston
The main attraction of the “Awready!: Houston Hip Hop Conference” brought together a wide variety of Houston rappers and nationwide scholars who wanted to contribute to the discussion about a movement that propelled Houston’s rich hip-hop history.
“A Screwed Up History,” a full day of lengthy panels and discussions in the University Center’s Houston Room, featured panels that ranged from the origins of Houston hip-hop to its culture that included tricked-out cars and Codeine sipping.
Many of the featured speakers held a special respect for DJ Screw, a man who is constantly referred to as a pioneer and an innovator in Texas and who served as the focus of the conference.
The panels opened with an introduction by Julie Grob, coordinator of Digital Projects & Instruction for University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, who welcomed original Screwed Up Click member ESG to open with a welcoming acapella verse and a special rendition of the legendary introduction to the Screw tape “3 N The Mornin’ Pt. 2”.
Next, historical member of the Geto Boys, Willie D and an original Houston hip-hop DJ, Steve Fournier, gave light to an often over-looked section of Houston hip-hop—it’s earliest stages.
Fournier recalled nights DJing at the bar, Rhinestone Wrangler, where he’d lend local MCs a hand at getting their records heard. He also recalled the difficulty of getting hip-hop heard in its early stages.
“Slabs and Syrup” featured moderators Langston Collin Wilkins and Dr. Ronald J. Peters, who discussed on the subject matter of sipping Codeine. Peters noted that the community should appreciate the voice of information and knowledge that the rappers shared about what was going on in culture.
Wilkins posed questions about the car culture of Houston, Lil’ Randy and ESG cleared up some of the specialties of SLABs, cars often having flashy rims and paint jobs.
Screwed Up Click members were welcomed on to the stage to speak on “DJ Screw & The Screwed Up Click.” Among contributing speakers were Lil’ Keke, Big Pokey, and Meshah Hakins, the wife of the late HAWK.
Lil’ Keke recalled the friendly side of Screw saying “one thing people don’t know about Screw, man, Screw agreed to everything…he was that type of guy.”
What brought many of these people together was their memories of the great DJ.
During the final panel, “The Legacy of DJ Screw”, OG Ron C, a current DJ taking on the “Chopped and Screwed” style, noted his place as continuing Screw’s legacy and holding respect for his ways.
Ron supported the younger school of DJs who are now implementing the style saying, “I applaud those younger DJs because they have passion that Screw had for his music. “
Bun B, a special guest speaker, instilled in the people the goal of progress and trueness that DJ Screw followed.
“Whatever it is you’re trying to be in life, try to do it the way Screw did,” Bun B said.
“He didn’t care about money, he cared about his friends. All these dudes he had coming to his house rapping for him—not one time did he try to put a contract in front of these people…not one time did he try to exploit what he and his friends were doing.
“He tried to keep it 100 for the Southside,“ Bun B said.