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    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2015 edited

    William Hutson is one/third of the band, clipping. He owns more Murder Dogs than you.

    I’m intensely suspicious of artists who don’t make rap, but nonetheless cite DJ Screw as an influence. It’s especially so when the homage comes from somebody ostensibly “avant-garde.” About five years ago, when journalists were still enthralled by a series of increasingly fashionable internet music genres—Hypnagogic Pop, Chillwave, Witch House, Vaporwave—mentions of Screw began appearing regularly in articles about musicians who’d likely never heard a South Circle track played at normal speed. (1)
    The name-dropping contained a subliminally offensive implication: that Screw’s method of slowing down rap songs somehow elevated those rap songs—themselves crass, disposable products—into the realm of high art. This interpretation of Screw argued that, for example, Botany Boys were terrible. (2) However, when played at ninety five percent of its original speed, “Smokin’ N’ Lean’n” was like the Marlboro Man to Screw’s Richard Prince. Screw tapes were presented as if they were completely separate from the gangsta rap community that Screw was a part of — allowing “intelligent” and “educated” people to listen to and appreciate them while retaining the privilege that accompanies “good taste.”

    His mixes were deemed post-modern commentary instead of documents of the underground scene that Screw participated in. But DJ Screw wasn’t Girl Talk, and the processing he applied to rap songs wasn’t a filter signifying ironic distance. He was an innovator who had a unique voice, distinct style, and he expressed that vision from within gangster rap, not outside of it.