In a capsule: OG Ron C is a DJ from Houston. He co-founded SwishaHouse, the label that helped break Mike Jones, Chamillionaire, et. al in the middle of last decade. He’s since started a new label, and that one has rappers under its umbrella too, but currently its most important for one big, lovely reason: Where traditionally only the most earthbound rap and R&B was considered appropriate for being slowed down and chopped up (referred to as “Screwed,” named after the founder of the genre, DJ Screw), his group, known as the Chopstars, have taken to revamping the sound, making it more palatable for this new generation of music consumers. We called up the general, OG Ron C, to ask him about the five best non-rap tapes they’ve produced ’n’ screwed with.
1. The Weeknd, House of Balloons
The Weeknd and I have a relationship that’s a little strange. Drake passed him along to me before he blew up. I think of him like a modern day Prince, almost. He’s a little too sexual for radio, real edgy. I like that kind of R&B.
Best Moment: When the already mellow drone of “The Morning” gets stretched into a mile long stretch of nothingness. [Download via Hulkshare.]
2. Frank Ocean, nostalgia, Ultra
I have to give everything to Candlestick [a DJ that works within Ron C’s Chopstars]. I’m inside cool with some of the Odd Future people; I did know some of them. But Candlestick put me on Ultra. When we jumped on Frank Ocean, he had about 1,200 followers on Twitter.
Best Moment: “American Wedding,” because we get to hear an R&B singer’s generally emotion-packed voice get pulled right past languid and into dronefully brilliant. [Download via Datpiff.]
Note: The Chopstars released Channel Purple, a remix of Channel Orange. Download it here.
3. Girl Talk, Purple All Day
I was actually booking some shows and I wanted to book Girl Talk. He wasn’t available. His agent was like, “He’s a real big fan of your music.” Me and Gregg kicked off a few emails. Next thing I know, we’re working on it. I’d never done anything as eccentric as All Day. It came out exactly the way that I wanted it to come out.
Best moment: John Lennon’s “Imagine” wiggling its way into UGK’s “One Day.” [Download via Illegal Art.]
4. Nirvana, Greatest Hits
Last year, January 1st through 18th,we dropped a tape every day. DJ Lil’ Steve did this one. He did ten rock tapes in a row. Whatever kind of music you like, we want to be the ones to bring it to you.
Best Moment: “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” obvs. [Download via Datpiff.]
5. Drake, Coldplay, October’s Very Cold Chopped Not Slopped
This was the beginning of our relationship with OVO. They thought it’d make a good tape. Jas Prince [son of J. Prince, founder of Rap-A-Lot records] called me up one day. He clicked over and introduced Drake. Drake was like, “I like your music. I used to write my music listening to F Action* tapes in my one bedroom apartment. I’d love the whole catalog.” When he came to Houston, I showed up with copies of all of them.
Best Moment: When young Drake* (circa 2009) gets his “I’m Still Fly” mushed together with the somber aesthetic of Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” [Download via Datpiff.]
*F Action is OG Ron C’s series of chopped and Screwed R&B tapes. There are approximately 70 different ones.