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Sunday, June 22, 2008

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE INTERNET GENIUS BEHIND DJ CHARM

So your blogspot confirms my suspicions, and the reason I have never gotten involved in any of these Shoutbox wars. The feeble attempts at humor illicit a smirk quite similar to the effect of your 'heroes,' those Internet legends "The Icy Hott Stuntaz." The lasting effect, however, is a sense of sadness, that someones life would be so void, that mocking someone else's passion seem so desirable.

To you, the concept of Screw's legacy must seem silly. To many others (myself included,) it is not. The simple concept created by Robert Earl Davis: to slow the modern pop idiom down in order to create a more subtle, hypnotic music, has been a breath of fresh air in American music. My old Internet friend, OT (who introduced me to Screw's music in the late 90s,) warned me of over intellectualizing. In this case, I fear I will disregard his admonition.

So why is slowed up music so funny? Is it the distortion of the voice? To some, the guttural growl of death metal may seem juvenile, but to others it gave a new vitality to a dying genre. For me, Screw did the same. As a 37 year old dj and music journalist, who grew up with hip hop, by 1998 I had tired of the sound. In rare cases, it still moved me, but for the most part I had feared that I had heard it all. Those little gray tapes set me straight. Living in Los Angeles, I downloaded them and traded them via the internet. Instantly, I was teleported into another place. A psychedelic ghetto wonderland... a place of candy-colored cars and potent narcotics. A world that existed in it's own state. I was amazed at how slowing down music could turn the most tepid radio hit into a masterpiece. Someone smarter than me once said that Screw managed to turn hip hop and r'n'b back into blues and gospel, with the simple push of a pitch slider. That person was correct.

Is it the "slabs" you find so funny? Might I remind you that car culture is an American tradition. It's part of 'our' history. It has been celebrated in popular music for about half a century, ever since Brian Wilson sang about his 'Little Deuce Coupe.' Many hate it - but the world Screw is a part of is very similar to that of the Beach Boys... cars... beach parties....picking up girls. Yet somehow, the Beach Boys make classic music - and many will still right off Screw as "stupid nigger music." That, unfortunately, just speaks of the hypocrisy and inherent racism that still live in the black heart of this country. A hypocrisy that makes hip hop even more important as a social tool for revolution.

For the record. I am white... but far from a 'wigger.' Most people assume I listen to what most white folks listen to (?) when first meeting me. My love for hip hop has always kept me from being a parody of it. I can see why you are amused at those white kids who try just a little too hard. I laugh too.. but again, usually I just feel sad. Like you, they are lost. They have no identity, and whereas you fill that emptiness by scoffing at others, they fill it with overcompensation.

My only hope is that you find another arena for your fun. All the people here want to do is trade music that can be hard to find for some. Share their own additions to a rich palette of music that has been created over the past 14 years. Screw isn't new, nor is it a fad. The subculture of fans that have rallied around it are more upset about it's popularization in Top 40 hooks than you are. It is special to us, and we'd hate to see it exploited by the record companies. We are glad that it has come back underground,to a place where people love it.

If you do not undertsand that love, so be it. But realize, some of us folks are serious about it. In the end, it's just music - but it is the music I wake up with every day... and pass out to every night!

Dafydd McKaharay

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not sure about who DJ Charm is or what he might of said but I agree with you 100%. Don't worry about what any of these e-thugs gotta say. Just keep supplying us with all this throwed music.

Obey said...

Hell yea homeboy keep doin your thang, fuck tha haters. Us down here in the H got your back.

Anonymous said...

Fuck yea man. i just found this blog today and already downloading everything off it. seeing as how i just found it today, was someone hatin screw? i love everything about houston and the screw scene. every sunday i turn on KBXX online and get fucked up to it up here in the dirty glove. keep shit up.

robcypher said...

fuck that nigga... keep screwing and chopping 'til you can't chop no mo'...