February 22, 2016

DJ Screw - Chapter 012: June 27th (1996)

This is, without a doubt, the most widely recognized and acclaimed DJ Screw mix. Most Screw tapes feature one or two freestyle songs where S.U.C. members get to kick lyrics onto the mix. June 27th's freestyle track rises above the other several hundred like it as the absolute most legendary song in chopped and screwed music. The freestyle boasts a hefty 38 minute duration, but considering there are some entire hour and 40 minute Screw tapes that are entirely freestyling, it's not the length that makes this thing so fucking dope, and it's hardly the actual freestyles either. DJ Screw's track selection for a more obscure Jermaine Dupri production for the Atlanta kid rapper duo, Kris Kross, is a stroke of genius in itself, but it's how he mixes a simple 4 minute instrumental into a 40 minute slowed epic is the real takeaway here. Even then, though, that type of shit is more or less routine for Screw, and it's the 500 pound singing Big Moe that makes the magic happen here. He introduces each rapper before they bust a rhyme with a short ode. The verses range anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes, and Moe helps bookend each of these with his own dopeness and brings you back to the track. His chemistry with the screwed up Kris Kross beat is nearly unrivaled; I mean holy shit, if you don't feel ice in your bone marrow when you hear Moe first step up on the mic, then you should just stop listening to music. While the freestyle definitely deserves to be the center of attention here, it also takes away much needed praise for the rest of this mix. Screw is on fucking point, I'm not sure I've heard him chop better than what's on the second half of 2Pac's All About U, for instance. Shit bro, this is so great that it's generated a handful of myths to add to the greatness of the tape--everything from Screw predicting his death date to the date he discovered pitch controlling (yeah, nah, it's just D-Moe's birthday). The mix definitely deserves the love it gets from hip hop fans and is an absolute essential not just in chopped and screwed music, but in the entire hip hop catalog.


June 27th