[With the winter in full effect, SOHH has teamed with McDonald’s to keep things hot in a four-part series highlighting all-star deejays throughout the United States, dishing on how they put on for their city. After The Bangerz talked about their Bay Area style, Houston’s DJ Michael “5000” Watts speaks on his hometown’s sound and growth.]
The Houston sound was shaped by a few different things. You can go back and see our sound really standing out thanks to Rap-A-Lot Records and then looking at veterans like DJ Screw and seeing the lane they paved for us over at Swisha House.
The best way to describe the Houston sound right now is evolving. Before, it was based on the gangsterism and that was a big part of the Houston style and then it turned into the slowed down music that you heard with DJ Screw. But nowadays, it’s more diversity in the city.
It’s not like one certain sound Houston has. When you look at some of the veterans in the game, you’re going to see some of that traditional stuff but the newer guys in Houston have more of an upbeat style. It’s a more upbeat style that you’re seeing. You’re going to see some Houston artists that have more of a musical style, then there’s others with more of a club style. You can see some artists in Houston leading a movement that’s more of a club style.
When it comes to the Houston “Chopped & Screwed” sound, I’m looking at taking the movement to another level this year. You’re going to start seeing a lot of collaborations, trying to keep the “Chopped & Screwed” movement to an entirely new level and expand it.
Swishahouse was founded in North Houston in the late 1990s by 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 mixtape series such as Before da Kappa, After da Kappa, Choppin Em Up and F*ck Action (which featured chopped and screwed versions of R&B songs). Acres Homes/Northside/Homestead are where many of the current/former artists hail. Watts is most known for helping spark the careers of Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, Mike Jones, Slim Thug and more.