Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins curates the in-depth look into the mastermind of DJ Screw on Mogul’s latest season.
Back in 2017, Gimlet Media tapped the late, great Reggie “Combat Jack” Ossé for a new podcast series entitled, Mogul. The show’s first season highlighted the incomparable legacy of music executive and manager, Chris Lighty. With Combat Jack’s sudden passing to colon cancer later that year, Gimlet Media set to build on the foundation set by Ossé.
In search of a new host, Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins would receive a call from Gimlet Media’s supervising producer, Matthew Nelson. Both parties would align to rebirth Mogul.
Now in its 3rd season, after previously highlighting the impact of Uncle Luke and the 2 Live Crew in Season 2, listeners embark on a journey to Houston, TX in the ’90s, with Jinx steering the proverbial candy-painted low rider, paying homage to DJ Screw.
DJ Screw, born Robert Earl Davis Jr., was a visionary. By the age of 12, he began to hone his skills as a disc jockey with help of his mother’s vinyls and turntables. It all began with his obsession with music. According to his sister, he got rid of his bed in his room to make more space for his music.
In Episode 1, Screw’s close friend Shorty Mac recounts naming his friend. When DJ Screw disliked a record, he would completely destroy it with a screw.
By his early 20s, his sole focus was the production of his slowed-down mixes at the requests of friends and local Houston rappers. These friends included Bun B, Lil Flip, Lil Keke, and more.
“You learn that he was not the first to pitch a record down, but he was the one that perfected it,” says Jinx.
As a North Jersey native, Jinx’s initial introduction to “chopped and screwed” music did not leave a lasting impression. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, he grew fond of the genre’s submergent sound.
In the first half of 2021, Jinx gives the nod to J. Cole, Tyler The Creator, Griselda’s Mach Hommy and Shelly, FKA Dram. He’s advises to pay close attention to Houston rapper Reggie as well.
While creators are often judged by the impact of their artistic output, the person behind the creation is the root.
In Season 3 of Mogul, listeners not only digest the music and events that defined DJ Screw’s legacy, but they learn more about man who defined those events.
“The one thing we unanimously took away from DJ Screw was his character,” says Jinx. “Everyone talked about how giving and charitable he was. He was either locked in the studio or spending time with those he cared for.”
What was once a local H-town treasure, has now transformed Hip-Hop and inspired music’s most notable superstars.
From Beyonce and Drake to Megan Thee Stallion and Travis Scott, DJ Screw’s authentic sound has and will continue to influence generations to come.
Be sure to check out Mogul’s latest “Chopped and Screwed” season on Spotify.