In about a month, certain parts of Houston and the world will remember the birthday of DJ Screw, and November marks the 10th Anniversary of his death.

Austin Surreal properly informed me recently about the latest DJ Screw spin-off, “Screwed Anthologies“. Think Nortec, but improvising over plodding bass lines and drooping renditions of popular rap songs. Go here, for an audio sample. The Houston-based musicians should be stopping in Ithica and Boston this week

In Mexico, there´s a reminder of Screw. It´s not in the super slow-paced way you handle bank transactions here, or the syrupy slow wait in the line at Wal-Mart Mexico. I´m talking about the wound down accordian-jamming sound of  cumbias rebajadas. Rebajada,  means to bring it down, as in the pitch.

The realm of digital cumbia isn´t complete without a walk in this slow dimension. There´s a certain gangster quality to listening to cumbia this way. Not unlike those guys in Texas who have Screw blasting out of their cars.

I´m interested in getting a good story together on the subject.  People on both sides of the border are discovering the music again, and again. But no clear answers as to what connects Screw to rebajadas, or if there´s a definitive creator for pitched down cumbia.

According to  Dr. Auratheft:

Story tells …. early low-key/ghetto cumbia gigs in Mexico would use really shitty/dysfunctional turntables, not only slowing down but also fluctuating. This launched a genre somehow and kids in Mexico are just all about rebajadas”.

Or are the origins of cumbia rebajadas as Toy Selectah told me in Austin a few months ago? He suggests that boomboxes at Monterrey block parties would slowly run out of batteries, leaving people to bailar to slowed cumbia.

Whatever´s true, most of what´s written about Screw dates chopped and screwed music to the early 90s, and rebajadas mixtapes are said to have been available since the 80s, coming directly from Monterrey DJs and making their way throughout Mexico y el mundo.  Let´s see if we can get this all on the record. Until then check out this rebajadas mix by Dr. Auratheft:

Rebajadas_El_Maldito Acordeón

And this 1998  chopped and screwed mixtape by Houston rap landmark Swishahouse:


Look here for normal cumbia.

Track listing for both mixes after the jump.

Rebajadas El Maldito Acordeón

1 Super Grupo Colombia: Parajo Cenzontle Rebajada
2 Rebajadas Monterrey Marquillos Colombia
3 Sonido Martines: Cumbia Monteriana Rebajada
4 DJ LKS: Cumbia de los Estados Rebajada
5 DJ Next Watts: Cumbia Rebajada
6 La Cumbia Sampuesana Rebajada
7 Andres Landero: Cuando lo Negro Rebajada
8 Sonido Martines: Que Soy Sexy
9 Wayne & Wax & Calle 13: Cumbia de las Rebajadas
10 Karol y su Amor Gitano: El Maldito Acordeón
11 Unknown
12 Andres Landero: Virgen de la Candelaria Rebajada


01 Archie Lee Lestor Roy – Freestyle

02 Eightball and MJG – In the Middle of the Night

03 Mystikal – Here We Go

04 5th Ward Boyz Ft Do or Die – Something to Ride to

05 Usher-master P – Nice and Slow-pass Da Green

06 Fat Pat – Tops Drop

07 BG Ft Big Tymers – Get Your Shine on

08 Silkk the Shocker – Just Be Straight with Me

09 Fat Pat – Peepin Me

10 NWA – Dopeman

11 Lil Keke Ft Herschelwood Hardheadz – Money in the Making

12 Lil Mario Slim Thug J-Dawg – Freestyle (Homes and Thugs Beat)

13 Dat Boy Grace-5th Ward Boyz – Crumbs 2 Bricks-pussy Weed Alcohol

For more cumbia indulgence check here and here.

Photo of Celso Piña, the man no rebajada mixtape should be without, via http://toca-yos.blogspot.com/


4 thoughts on “Internationally Screwed & Chopped

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