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Chopped and Screwed

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Album Review

It's downright strange to think that the freakish screwed and chopped sound (here it's the less-used chopped and screwed) has made it to the major labels. Think about what it must be like for the khaki and button-ups at Jive when they try explaining the genre to chain-store music buyers. "It's the hits of Mystikal, but they're slowed down to a crawl and skip a lot. It's really weird, but gangsta kids love it when they're drinking cough syrup. You'll need plenty of units in your Southern stores." DJ 007 of the Chop Shop handles Mystikal's bangers with less of a heavy hand than anyone from the druggy Swishahouse would. As much of a trip as it would be to hear Swisha's Michael Watts drown the hyper thug into a screwed, bottomless pit, DJ 007's faster style of screwing fits Mystikal's bouncy and brash numbers better than expected. As displayed on "Danger (Been So Long)," the remixer likes to get wicked with the scratching, working the turntable in the same gruff manner the rapper works his lyrics. Whooshes of filters and phasers turn "Hypno" into a face-melting experience, but party numbers like "Bouncin' Back" and "Jump" retain their energy, groove, and glitz with a less dragging tempo. Released while the rapper was incarcerated, Mystikal's Chopped & Screwed is a rarity in the genre, a record that has its eyes more than a quarter of the way open. Serious screwheads are going to have to adjust to non-ominous and non-freakish moments, but it's hard to think of a better introduction to screwed and chopped for the cautious.


Born: 22 September 1970 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Once one of the leading rappers on Master P's No Limit record label, Mystikal quickly evolved beyond the label's clichéd thug trappings and found himself one of the Dirty South's most recognized rappers, alongside the likes of Juvenile and Ludacris. Like No Limit itself, Mystikal is a New Orleans native. He released an eponymous debut on the independent label Big Boy in June 1995. It earned the attention of Jive Records, who signed him later that year. His official major-label debut, Mind of Mystikal,...
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Chopped and Screwed, Mystikal
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