LOCAL Houston | The City Guide September 2016 - Page 26

RECORDING SCREWVILLE Interview by Lance Scott Walker | Photography by Anthony Rathbun WHEN ROBERT EARL DAVIS, JR., PASSED AWAY ON NOVEMBER 16, 2000, THE WORLD LOST DJ SCREW, BUT A FAMILY IN SMITHVILLE, TEXAS, LOST A COUSIN, BROTHER AND SON. IN THE YEARS SINCE HIS DEATH, SCREW’S MUSIC HAS PERSEVERED, AND HIS LEGEND HAS GROWN AROUND THE WORLD, BUT THERE IS MORE TO THE PERSON THAN HIS FANS COULD EVER KNOW. Smithville native JASON CULBERSON set out to fix that in 2013, filming interviews with family members and people close to Screw who have been less visible than the rappers in The Screwed Up Click. The culmination of his work is the one-hour DVD Screwville, which Culberson, who is known as K.i.d, shot and edited, self-funded and self-released. “I just felt it was a piece of history that needed to be spoken about,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that wasn’t a part of previous documentaries that were strong in Screw’s life, and real instrumental. Like Al-D, KAY-K – he was locked up. You never heard from Jut, you never heard from CHRIS COOLEY, you never heard from his sister. These were real critical people in his life. So it was more of me just really tryin’ to bring light to the legacy.” Part of that work was in convincing Screw’s older sister RED to come out of the woodwork. Red was close to her brother but stayed outside of his career. When the scope of K.i.d’s project expanded to include a renovation of Screw’s gravesite, Red got involved. Together, they collaborated on a series of T-shirts with Houston artist DONKEE BOY and have now twice held an event at 8th Wonder Brewery in Houston to fund their efforts. “Screw was a person that would give you his shirt off his back,” she said. “And as his sister, I just want to give back like he gave. I wanna give what I can, and just put my feet in his shoes. I can’t fill ’em, but I’ma do my best! Because there was only one Robert Earl Davis, Jr. There was only one DJ Screw. There’ll never be another, but I just wanna make sure that I live his world as a positive world.” “These cats looked at him like a brother,” said K.i.d. “But a lot of them looked at him more as a father figure because he paid their rent money, he had their gas money, he helped them with clothes. I got interviews with people talkin’ about when they were in jail, how he took care of them. All these things is big, big qualities for one person to carry. You not just a creator of this genre of music, but you also a genuine person outside of that.” www.officialscrewville.com To read the full article, visit www.localhoustonmagazine.com. 26 L O C A L | september 16