- For any artist with knowledge of the Houston musical tradition of being "chopped and screwed," to have your record remixed in this way is an honour. Though the history of the genre reaches back to the 1990s, the city's premier crew, The Chopstars, have been closest to the public eye since 2011, when they remixed the Drake album Take Care. (More recently, they've done the same for film soundtracks, including the Oscar-winning Moonlight.) Two of the crew's leading figures, OG Ron C and DJ Candlestick, have now given what they call the "chopped not slopped" treatment to Drunk, last year's stellar Thundercat LP.
The late DJ Screw is widely credited with inventing the chopped and screwed style, in which the tracks are slowed down and cut up to create a dreamlike slow-jam effect. That torch has been passed to OG Ron C, AKA Ronald Coleman, the cofounder of Houston's Swishahouse Records label. In 2001, he began creating mixtapes in the style under the Chopped Not Slopped banner (a diss to other DJ's "sloppy" style). He's apparently made more than 3000 mixtapes.
Having first appeared online last year, Drank has now been officially released on Brainfeeder. The first thing you'll notice, naturally, is how much slower Drank is. Thundercat's light falsetto is well suited to this treatment. One of the vocal highlights, though, comes from Wiz Khalifa on "Drink Dat." "I'm just chillin' / getting high as fuck," he mutters, sounding as baked you'd imagine.
Where alcohol was Drunk's major theme, Drank gestures equally to getting stoned. "Show You The Way" becomes a lazy Sunday top-down jam whose keyboard chords are stretched like elastic. "Tokyo"'s rapid-fire shuffle is slowed to a sinewy funk track. "Where I'm Going" is the one track that might transcend the original, now a loping, deliberate groove with a satisfying cymbal decay.
By the end of its 24 tracks, though, the chopped not slopped method wears thin. The music sometimes suggests inventive new directions, but the strange, tonal weirdness of the vocals doesn't always sit right, and ends up sucking out the individuality from Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar alike. "It's always been the same, man / everything ain't for everybody / so this here right here might not be for you, G / don't mean it ain't jammin' though," intones one of the record's many baritone ad-libs. It speaks the truth.
01. Rabbot Ho (Chopnotslop Remix)
02. Drink Dat feat. Wiz Khalifa (Chopnotslop Remix)
03. Lava Lamp (Chopnotslop Remix)
04. Weakstyle (Chopnotslop Remix)
05. Show You The Way feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins (Chopnotslop Remix)
06. Where I'm Going (Chopnotslop Remix)
07. Tokyo (Chopnotslop Remix)
08. Uh Uh (Chopnotslop Remix)
09. Inferno (Chopnotslop Remix)
10. Them Changes (Chopnotslop Remix)
11. I Am Crazy (Chopnotslop Remix)
12. 3AM (Chopnotslop Remix)
13. Jethro (Chopnotslop Remix)
14. The Turn Down feat. Pharrell (Chopnotslop Remix)
15. Walk On By feat. Kendrick Lamar (Chopnotslop Remix)
16. Day & Night (Chopnotslop Remix)
17. A Fan's Mail (Tron Song Suite II) (Chopnotslop Remix)
18. Jameel's Space Ride (Chopnotslop Remix)
19. Captain Stupido (Chopnotslop Remix)
20. Friend Zone (Chopnotslop Remix)
21. Bus In These Streets (Chopnotslop Remix)
22. DUI (Chopnotslop Remix)
23. Blackkk (Chopnotslop Remix)
24. Drunk (Chopnotslop Remix)