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DJ Screw: Lance Scott Walker in conversation with Briana Younger Book Signing

Photo by Ben Tecumseh DeSoto.

DJ Screw: Lance Scott Walker in conversation with Briana Younger

MOCA Store Lecture

MOCA Store is pleased to announce an evening to celebrate the recent publication of Lance Scott Walker’s book DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution (University of Texas Press, 2022). Walker will be in conversation with writer and curator Briana Younger about the story of DJ Screw and his influence in hip-hop and beyond.

DJ Screw, a.k.a. Robert Earl Davis Jr., changed rap and hip-hop forever. In the 1990s, in a spare room of his Houston home, he developed a revolutionary mixing technique known as chopped and screwed. Spinning two copies of a record, Screw would “chop” in new rhythms, bring in local rappers to freestyle over the tracks, and slow the recording down on tape. Soon Houstonians were lining up to buy his cassettes—he could sell thousands in a single day. Fans drove around town blasting his music, a sound that came to define the city’s burgeoning and innovative rap culture. June 27 has become an unofficial city holiday, inspired by a legendary mix Screw made on that date.

Lance Scott Walker has interviewed nearly everyone who knew Screw, from childhood friends to collaborators to aficionados who evangelized Screw’s tapes—millions of which made their way around the globe—as well as the New York rap moguls who honored him. Walker brings these voices together with captivating details of Screw’s craft and his world. More than the story of one man, DJ Screw is a history of the Houston scene as it came of age, full of vibrant moments and characters. But none can top Screw himself, a pioneer whose mystique has only grown in the two decades since his death.

Lance Scott Walker
Lance Scott Walker is originally from Texas and is now based in New York. He is the author of Houston Rap Tapes and collaborated on the companion photo book Houston Rap. He has written for the Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Red Bull Music Academy, Vice, Wondering Sound, Los Angeles Review Of Books, and The Wire.

Briana Younger
Briana Younger has been working in music for over a decade, with experience as both a writer and curator for companies like SiriusXM, YouTube and Apple Music. She was previously an editor at The New Yorker, and her work has been published in Rolling Stone, W Magazine, Pitchfork, Washington Post, NPR and others.