Houston’s Chopped & Screwed

Founded in New York City, Hip-Hop/Rap is a genre that has been around for forty plus years. It quickly spread as the art traveled coast to coast as well as up and down the country, creating a distinct sound of the genre depending on the region. But in the 1990s a subculture was discovered in Houston, “Chopped & Screwed”. When we think of rap and hip-hop we often may think of poetry, a flow of rhymes over instrumentals on a steady pace but Houston altered that with their own cultural influences by dramatically slowing down the tempo of popular hip-hop songs. The innovator, DJ Screw is said to be the founding father of this subculture. The main influence of this subculture was the heavily used drug at the time, “Purple Drank”. For short “Drank” is a drink consisted of codeine cough syrup and soda which affects the mind and body by slowing it down and making chopped and screwed music more enjoyable. I will go in depth of this subculture and how the city and the culture created this unconventional sound of hip-hop/rap.

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3 thoughts on “Houston’s Chopped & Screwed”

  1. I remember that while watching your presentation on this subculture, I was so surprised to find out that the “purple drank” originated from Houston’s “Chopped and Screwed” subculture. Growing up I always associated the purple drank with rappers like Lil’ Wayne and later on A$AP Rocky. It’s crazy to think how hip-hop/rap has so many influences behind it, every rapper has been influenced by someone who came before them, even down to their drug of choice.

  2. Yeah I remember as well siting in class watching your presentation on this topic of subculture and just to learn about Houston’s “Chopped & Screwed” subculture was weird but at the same time interesting. I mean I’m not use to listening to music with RPM’s at that speed it’s like you mentioned in your presentation as if you have to be high to be at the pace of these types of beats. Over the years I knew that “Purple Drank” originated in the south but wasn’t aware it was from Houston which is cool to finally understand now because such rappers as Lil’ Wayne and others were taking this drug. In this industry there’s always going to be someone that is always going to bring a new wave of beats and what not that’s why we see in different regions in America where beats and styles are totally different in the Rap game. It’s all about the influence your surrounded that leads to these changes and so forth some may be bad or good but at the end of the day if it sticks and goes mainstream then something is right. To conclude this I never knew that ASAP Rocky whom is from Harlem, New York is heavily influenced this style of beats to be honest, but at the end of the day he perfects it and makes good jams.

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