RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Friday, June 17

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May '11 #5: "Crossroads (screwed & chopped instrumental)" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony


For a while there, Syrup & Soda was my favorite screwtape I had on the robot machines, but lately the respected classic of June 27th has vibrated back towards the top of my personal list. (Although it should be noted the camper has been plugged in lately and that's where my tape deck is and my actual bonafide DJ Screw tapes that my wife ordered me from the Screw Shop, and there's one there that I can't remember the name of that's awesome as fuck as well. I also found a data disc of Screw tapes I bought off the ebays one time while cleaning out a box the other weekend, and that has like 90 Screw tapes on it.) The thing that makes Screw so much greater than pretty much anybody else who has ever tried to co-opt his codeine-laced slowed down, pre-chopped style of playing music is he has such a great DJ's ear for what sounds good, and what you can just let play and play and play for like nine minutes in a row and nobody will get tired of it. Most DJs - shit man, most humans - can't tap themselves into that higher energy where it feels right and you know how long to go, and then you switch it when it feels necessary. It's how Dickey Betts plays guitar, it's how John Coltrane blew into a saxomophone, and it's how DJ Screw made fucking mixtapes.
This instrumental is the perfect example. He has the regular version of "Crossroads" on this mixtape as well, but still, rocking the instrumental for five minutes makes sense. And I'm sure there were a slew of Screwed-Up Click members milling about, just waiting to throw down a freestyle about this or that (which they did eventually on the B-side of the tape, in the infamous "June 27th freestyle" which sort of makes this tape such a classic... man I wish somebody would make me a screwed and chopped mixtape for my birthday), but Screw just lets the instrumental ride right here. And that piano from "Crossroads" all warbled down to a holy speed, it's so fucking mesmerizing. Not to sound too much like an old man, but I'm not sure the synth-heavy sounds of today's hip hop could get hyped up with the slowed treatment, as the pitch modulation that came about would just get all weird and German clubby most likely.
Anyways, it is Friday and spring time, so if you are planning on maybe eating a handful of mushrooms and going catfishing tonight or tomorrow, I suggest you download this song and just let it play on repeat for like three hours in some shitty $10 boombox from Wal-Mart, sitting by your bonfire next to the cooler with the raw chicken livers for bait and your beer. It would be preferable if it was on cassette so as the batteries died, the cassette just played slower and it sounded even more screwed and chopped, but mostly there's just CD players now, and I'm starting you with a robot file anyways, which puts you a couple steps removed from getting it to cassette. CD players just cut out when batteries run low... no awesome drag that gives you an added 20 minutes of sounds. Often times, more better is actually worse. And progress sucks.
STEAL "Crossroads"
NEXT:
More warbled music, but from straight out the camper trailer behinds my house this time!

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