"Plug out in China Town…hit my cell and said he got that shrimp fried rice….He drop the prices by the pound in China Town…" #chicago #chinatown #redline #cta #iphotography #iphonesia (at Cermak Chinatown CTA Red Line)
I went to an exhibit at Columbia here in #Chicago w/ @eurobella & @work_play . There were different themes presented but one of my favorites was the “Found Photos in Detroit” exhibit by artists Arianna Arcara & Luca Santese. They went around to the most volatile environments in #Detroit and gathered up abandoned photos, articles, and even police docs. It shows CLEARLY the adversity found in Detroit through lack of authority and the ever-rising ethical concerns. This exhibit was hard to witness (especially for @work_play head ass lol), but without a doubt had my eyes wide open. A statement was made: more than enough help is needed to save the culture of this city and the well-being of its individuals. (at Museum of Contemporary Photography)
Slim K is a got damn national treasure, and I’m gonna tell you why.
First, let me talk about my relationship with his chosen medium of artistry: chopped and screwed music. If you’re confused by that statement, I’m terribly sorry. If you know what it is, but can’t get into it, I’m terribly sorry. It’s like a different world that can be crafted to your choosing, depending on your state of being and what you’re in the mood for: unwinding, seducing, mourning or a slew of other options, it’s gorgeously versatile.
A quick history: Houston’s own Robert Earl Davis, Jr. — better known as DJ Screw — invented the concept of chopping and screwing. In a nutshell, it’s the practice of slowing down the tempo of a song and repeating certain parts of the track, with other personal touches thrown into the mix.
I think a common misconception of chopped and screwed music is that you have to be under the influence to enjoy it, whether by weed, lean, a combination of the two and/or more. But that’s just not the case. I initially fell in love with chopped and screwed music as a [relatively] drug-free adolescent.
I was born and raised in a small town in Texas, with a population of 25,000 people. I had an incredibly open-minded mother and a curiously adventurous older brother. From the both of them, I learned all I needed to know about Texas rap. We can talk about the lingering effects of the Scarfaces, UGKs and Ganksta N-I-Ps another time, though.
One of the things I loved to do most as a kid was just listen to music and ride around in the car with my mom, sister and brother. Some of my favorite songs to this day are songs that I was introduced to in the backseat of whatever hooptie my mom happened to be driving that year. I was no older than 7 or 8 when I first heard “Diamonds & Wood" by UGK. But the first version of it I heard was chopped and screwed. We must have listened to it a thousand times over the years, and it became somewhat of an anthem for my small, close-knit family. [Once I got to college, I tried to find that version again, but I just couldn’t. And still can’t. Shit irks me to no end.]
Anywho, back to the present. I have a deep appreciation for chopped and screwed music. Therefore, I’m implausibly picky about the way it’s carried out. Enter Slim K. I’ve known of his work for a few years, but it was really the year before last, Fall of 2012, that I became well-acquainted with him.
Kendrick Lamar had just released his debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, and everyone was buzzing about the record. Slim K said he was listening to the introspective “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” when he found out his friend Big Noble passed away. He decided to cope by transforming the song to translate his emotions.
The first time I heard this… whew. That was the moment I realized how talented Slim K is. I was going through a rough time myself and I connected with it in a way that I hadn’t been able to in a long time. Probably not since I was riding through the streets of Small Town, Texas, in the backseat of my mom’s hooptie.
Since then, I’ve been following Slim K’s prolificness; it’s been nothing short of a beautiful journey. He knows how to push a song right to the edge without overdoing it. He always manages to chop right where I want it. The artists he chooses to cover are nearly always worthy of his time, and subsequently, my time. Most of all, he takes music that I love for my own personal reasons, and recreates it in a way that allows me to fall in love all over again. From overhauls of projects by Joey Bada$$ and Frank Ocean to his own curated mixtapes, the man is simply an artist. A true artist. I hope that you’ll be able to find something within his catalogue to connect with. All you have to do is look and listen.