Began my tutorial in Chopped&Screwed today at the side of Eric ‘BigLove’ – long time Houston rapper, composer, producer and entrepreneur. Eric spent many years alongside DJScrew at the inception of what has become the next big evolution of rap/hiphop. It’s a totally infectious style of music, mashups of the latest rap & hiphop records, or classic R&B sounds, slowed to half speed and mixed with samples, grooves and original parts. It’s hypnotic. I was treated to a realtime screw session in his northside studio with Stink, BigLove’s up and coming protege); including a freestyle duet with Big Tee (the file will make it’s way to this post soon enough) thanks for the shout out you guys). I have to say, I’ve always been blown away by folks who could freestyle. I highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t done so, go check out a freestyle rap show, genius poets at work. Plain and simple.
Aside from the explosion of great new tracks, there’s also a fascinating grassroots music business forming in Houston. It’s all about the underground mixtape. Producers provide opportunities for new artists to record, financing the recording and pressings. They wholesale the $2 CDs for $5 to artists and producers, which they in turn resell straight to fans for $10. Everyone gets a piece. It’s not uncommon for a tape to sell 20000 copies in a few weeks, mostly from the back of cars. The CD’s quote liberally from the latest hit records (sometimes pre-release if someone knows one of the recording engineers!). You might think this would generate lots of copyright issues, but the source artists like the promotional value – even hiring the hot DJs to screw their tunes. It’s mainlining now, with artists like Kanyae West and JayZ picking up on the style.
I’ll have a fuller post with pictures any more on BigLove’s background in the next few days… Gotta start building our C&S collection.
I have a long day planned today; but looking forward to meeting folks at Star Pizza tonight.