Swishahouse was founded in North Houston in 1997 by founder and CEO Michael “5000” Watts and OG Ron C as a response to the popularity of chopped and screwed music from Houston’s south side. The label began by distributing a mixtape series that featured chopped and screwed versions of R&B songs. Many of the current & former artists come from Acres Homes, Homestead and other neighborhoods on Houston’s Northside.
Welcome to the Month of Recognizing SWISHAHOUSE “unofficially” at least by Jestificated, where I will be talking about the Legendary unknown, known independent Label.
“SWISHAHOUSE” hence the title of this post, I just wanted to make sure I remind Houstonians and the world that there is no debate that DJ Screw is hands down the pioneer, but Swishahouse was a major contender in the Southern Hip-Hop Genre of Chopped-n-Screwed Music as well, which respectfully was created by the Late Robert Earl Davis Jr. (or as many of us know him by D.J Screw). ???????
Therefore, “we have no plex” as they say in the south about this and as a teenager, I recall primarily listening and going to the Swishahouse. Simply because, that was close to us (despite living in the northeast suburbs) #44 and #AcresHomes -is where the shop was located, making it a well known and reputable staple for the Northside.
Of course, the Screwed Up Records and Tape store is obviously iconic for several historic nostalgic reasons. However, it was far from me and my peeps. So for that reason, I can tell you the importance of D.J. Michael Watt’s, OG Ron C and their Hella-Roster of dynamic Freestyle Rappers only enhanced the brand as we know it.
No matter what your race or color or religion you were always welcome at the Swishahouse including my group of friends per the throwback car show pic below car show (Sorry, I’m not pictured in this one, I was taking the pic) Side-note- I believe I developed these black & white prints myself via KHS photo-journalism class in the darkroom…I did pretty good, right? Lol
So, just sit back and listen….However, to better understand you should definitely watch the Youtube video I have posted above, it was created this year May 2019 by “The Report” and it’s pretty dang good at explaining the whole (DJ SCREW, Rise, SUC, SWISHAHOUSE, NORTH vs SOUTH Rivalry, Lean, Death of Screw & Fat Pat, Mike Jones, and Camp Worldwide phenom, to the overall Historical Preservation of DJ Screw’s Legacy.
In addition to the fact that Screw created a whole new sub-genre of “Screwed-n-Chopped” Innovation. D.J. Michael Watts may have “adopted” this Slowed down technique from the Legendary Screw, but Watts not only served the Northside aka #Nawfside with a variety of specially crafted Artist’s who knew how to freestyle on beat and create unique names or tags that they would shout out over the mic.
So, it was a no brainer for Watts to continue carrying the torch respectfully, like a champ. After all, what would the Northside be like without Swishahouse and it’s entire camp?Swishahouse Artist would often take turns on the mic by jumping in on the beat to Freestyle (just as any coast in a freestyle) but something about Southern Freestyle flows ( similar to Lil Wayne on No Ceilings) striaight fire.
Regular Swishahouse fans, knew each Artists’ unique creative style from King Coopa aka Chamillionaire to Big Tiger back to Slim Thug, 50/50 Twins, Big Pic back to Paul Wall and etc.
If you really knew the Swishahouse camp, then you knew who was usually got on the track yelling, calm or was silly and had funny sh*t to say, basically like Paul Wall or one of my fave #CloverlandG’s aka Lil Flip -his freestyles were off the chain too. However, Lil Flip was not signed to Swishahouse, he was a feature/collabo just as SPM “South Park Mexican”.
One thing about Paul Wall, was def a rare breed, he spits bars like no other “including White, Black or Hispanic dudes” he basically annihilated the freestyle session and that goes to this day, he can freestyle onsite, but he is more geared toward his Grillz buisness with Johnny Dang.
Artist Freestyle Tags:
Paul Wall was known for starting out a majority of his freestyles with “What it do? It’s Paul Wall” and he would always have something too funny to say about “I can catch Boppers…. or he has more carrots in his mouth than the HEB produce section lol” his flow always hit on the beat and it always went hard, but he was white and sounded so damn black.’ People tripped out, especially when Watts screwed and chopped his voice on the track. Paul Wall grew up in the Acres Homes /Homestead area “if my mind serves me correct?” the area is predominately a black neighborhood on the Northside of Houston.
So, I guess you could rightfully say that he was a product of his beautiful environment, which only enabled him to showcase his mouthpiece even more than ever. Paul is definitely the Peoples Champ down here and our Eminem, but Nah he’s himself and no one else. I will be sure to throw some of Paul Wall’s his freestyles up on the page/post for you all to judge ( especially all my UK/ Germany & African Hip Hop Heads) Check it out, while it’s also just good reminder of nostalgic times for the States and H-town.
The Color Changing Click
Then Chamillionaire and his brand of being the “Color Changing Lizard” wearing a Lizard chain in various colors of diamonds, once he moved up the ladder, often coining him and Paul Wall as the Color Changing Click, they were an iconic duo.
As you can somewhat see from a good 2 decades ago in the photo above that I took ( Chamillionaire is Throwing up-the #44 for Acres Homes reppin the Northside) Nothing gang related, it was just as anybody reps there hood or college that they attended. Meanwhile, Paul is just “posted up” on alert, while at the Car Show where they performed on the side with big acts like Ludacris etc. I will go through the roster, below. I don’t have enough time to cover every individual Artist’s specialty but I will try to showcase as much as I can over this month.
LiL Keke Da Don:
However, LIL KEKE da Don will definitely be featured in between the end of this month and next month, he is my all-time favorite on the mic. While he also stems from being an OG member of the original SUC (Screwed Up Click) with DJ Screw, on the Southside…and he did create the song “Southside” a Texas Legend Keke is, he always remained independent and lowkey but his freestyle ability is the most effortless and can go for several minutes on a song without writing lyrics and reading them. So the fact that he took his talents to Swishahouse after all of the North-South rivalries while still refusing to go mainstream, well that tells me everything I need to know about an Artist.
Funny thing is, I recall seeing Lil Keke at the prior Drake concert on my way out in the hallway, and I noticed his complexion, but heard his voice and saw his stature – I so badly wanted to just go up to him but then, I got cold feet, out of everyone that I have ever met (celebrity wise) I would have never thought my nerves would be so high, but that just shows you how I view Lil Keke and my respect for him as well.
The Chopped and Screwed Effect:
Including H-towns Very Own “adopted” Drake and “Native-born” Travis Scott by paying great homage to the Late-Greats specifically in Music Videos such as HYFR, Drakes Concerts have been doing so, and you can catch it in his various lyrical While Travis Scott is literally “All The RAGE” he too has done the most as far as showing love in his prior Albums specifically and collaboratively the music video “Sicko Mode” for his #Astroworld Album….and with leg II of his Astro-Festival right around the corner, ain’t no tellin…but just make sure you, “Put Some Respect On My Blog, When You Read This or Simply Bounce.
” I think it’s incredibly important to recognize those who have paved the way and continue to carry the torch, while we always show great respect & appreciation to the innovators who have passed before us, which are my thoughts exactly on why we need to recognize SWISHAHOUSE as a relentless source and underground southern label who kept the chopped n screw legacy going, specifically D.J.Michael Watts.
The Method of Chopping & Screwing:
“The technique of Chopped and screwed music slow a song down to around 60 to 70 beats per minute. While keeping the same song spinning on the opposite turntable, the DJ cuts back and forth, using techniques such as scratching, stop time and repetition. While aka known as Hopping and Screwing, a DJing technique invented by Houston pioneer DJ Screw in the early 90s that pitches compositions down is about feeling. Remixing a song in this way changes its texture; it makes the tones richer but also deeper and darker.
In Houston, a different approach of slowing music down, rather than speeding it up, developed. It is unknown when DJ Screw definitively created “screwed and chopped” music: Screw said he started slowing music down in 1990 and also in Tulsa, Oklahoma, DJ Dinero And DJ Z-Nasty helped popularize chopped and screwed music in the Mid South. There is no debate, however, that DJ Screw invented the music style.” He discovered that dramatically reducing the pitch of a record gave a mellow, heavy sound that emphasized lyrics to the point of almost storytelling.
D.J. Screw The Innovator & Creator
After messing around with the sound for a while Screw started making full length “Screw Tapes”. At first, the music was only referred to as “screw music”, was limited to the South Side of Houston, and was seen as laid-back driving music. As Screw’s tapes started to gain popularity he started selling his tapes for around $10. Screw was known to feature some of Houston’s most renowned rappers from the South Side. This eventually led to the formation of the Screwed Up Click.
SWISHAHOUSE Got The INTERNET GOING NUTZ:
In the mid-1990s, chopped and screwed music started to move to the north side of Houston by way of DJ Michael “5000” Watts, and later OG RON C. It wasn’t long until a rivalry between north and south Houston started over who were the “originators” and who were the “adopters”. Michael “5000” Watts always gave credit to DJ Screw as the originator of chopped and screwed music, which is he calls the genre “screwed and chopped”. In the late 1990s, with the help of P2P groups such as Napster, chopped and screwed music spread to a much wider audience. RIP DJ SCREWOn November 16, 2000, DJ Screw died from a lethal combination of codeine and alcohol. Shortly after the passing of Screw, screwed and chopped music spread all over the southern United States
The Swishahouse Series Includes The Following:
- All Freestyles
- Final Chapter
- Before da Kappa
- After da Kappa
- Choppin Em Up
- Fuck Action
- Straight To Tha Room FKA Fuck Action
- The Day Hell Broke Loose
- Let Your Nutz Hang”
- Rollin’ Strap
- Paper Chase
- Blow One
(However, I feel like I’m missing so many more)
Mike Jones Who?
A song that originally appeared on the compilation album The Day Hell Broke Loose 2, Mike Jones‘ “Still Tippin’“, achieved mainstream success in 2004. The single would go on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA. This led to Swishahouse signing a national distribution deal with Asylum Records. Jones released his major-label debut, Who Is Mike Jones?, on Swishahouse/Warner Bros. in April 2005; the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA, for selling over a million copies in the United States of America, that June.[1
The Swishahouse Effect
Aftermath A&R Angelo Sanders said that the great advantage to independents like Swishahouse is that, “They’re able to get their product out on the streets to specific regions at a greater speed than a major … They’re able to flood that whole Texas market with a product before the majors are able to notice what is going on out there.”
A New Day…
Lil Keke the Don arises bringing the SUC Freestyle Talent to Swishahouse while collaborating to bring Unity to the entire Houston Rap scene.
PAUL WALL BABY :
Paul Wall‘s major-label debut, The Peoples Champ, on Swishahouse/Atlantic, was released on September 2005, eventually topping the Billboard 200. Before embarking on his rap career and while still at school, Wall had worked in the Swishahouse office.
Noteable Infulences and Timeline of Chopped & Screwed Utilization:
In 2001, 8Ball & MJG released a screwed version of their album Space Age 4 Eva (2000). The mixing was handled by Michael “5000” Watts of the famed Swishahouse, being the first screwed and chopped release on a major label.
In 2005, Three 6 Mafia released a chopped and screwed version of their album Most Known Unknown, being one of the first albums to be chopped and screwed in commercial light as the album sold over a million copies. The mixing was handled by Michael “5000” Watts of the famed Swishahouse
Also in 2005, the first screwed and chopped albums were added to the iTunes Storecatalog[failed verification] and in 2010, a Chopped n Screwed app by The Chopstars called ‘ChopNotSlop’ was released on the App Store[third-party source needed]
Also in 2006, Houston based music label Dope House Records and Swishahouse teamed up to release South Park Mexican‘s ninth album, When Devils Strike. A chopped and screwed version was also released.
In 2018, and present-day; Travis Scott’s #SickoMode embracing the culture and #Astroworld by showing love to DJ Screw & Big Hawk, by sampling their sounds (chopped and screwed) it just shows how much love and understanding the world has for not only DJ Screw, but let’s always “Remember The Name” as they would often say on their mixtape CDs from way back.
Swishahouse History is Made:
Swishahouse has archives hosted by Rice University‘s Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning, a center under the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. The physical materials are hosted in the Woodson Research Center at the university’s Fondren Library.
Current Roster includes:
Check back for more highlights and #StayStreaming #Swishahouse
All sources/References and facts cited via links below:
The Report via Youtube
Jestificated Personal Archive black and white car show photos of 98-2000
*Next Month #Jestificated will be of covering All #TravisScott #DJScrew #BigHawk #BigMoe & of course #Astroworld for #Astrofest.