The Unlikely Sample That Defined a Scene

One of the things that has interested me most in hip-hop is the different regional scenes that spring up in different areas of the country. One of the most unique and influential is definitely the Houston scene. Many artists make up this scene such as UGK or Geto Boys but no one defined it as much as the legendary DJ Screw.

DJ Screw’s signature style was to slow down and chop up different hip-hop records which which was called Chopped & Screwed. This sound gave the songs more of a funky and distorted sound to them and would be a huge hit in Houston. Screw would remix many songs from different rap artists and would even have his own group of rappers he remixed most often called the Screwed Up Click.

Now whats most interesting about this local scene is some of the songs that helped pioneer it. The one song that is the main star for Houston rap is “June 27th“. This song was a 35 minute long freestyle that ever since it dropped has had almost mythical status. The song was actually created in Screw’s living room for the special occasion of rapper D-Mo’s birthday who is on the song along with Big Moe, Yungstar, Big Pokey, and a few more.

Now some of the verses are good and iconic but what really made the song was the signature Chopped & Screwed beat. Now the origins of the beat are very interesting and it first starts with Kriss Kross.

Kriss Kross in 1996 was trying to ditch their “kid rapper” image they had gained with their massive hit “Jump” and with that they released the album “Young, Rich, and Dangerous” which would spawn the single ” Tonite’s Tha Night” which was a small hit. The B-side of this single was a song called “Da Streets Ain’t Right” which would make almost no impact at all. This song would have been forgotten except the instrumental is what Screw would slow down to use for the beat of “June 27th”.

Now this sample is pretty interesting in itself but what is more interesting is what Jermaine Dupri who produced the Kriss Kross songs chose to sample for “Da Streets ain’t Right”. Dupri decided that for the bassline he would sample New Wave/Pop group The Romantics on one of their hits “Talking In Your Sleep“.

Now Screw definitely didn’t know he was sampling The Romantics but when I found this out I thought it was the wildest thing because that means in a way the sound that defines Houston hip-hop and the Chopped & Screwed sound was a New Wave sample that seems like it is the furthest possible thing from the world of Houston rap.

Screw tragically passed in July of 2000 at only 29. But since his passing June 27th would go on to be a staple freestyle beat and has been remixed hundreds of times most notably Drake used the beat on his mixtape “So Far Gone” on the song “November 18th“. The date June 27th has become somewhat of an unofficial Houston holiday and a day to celebrate Screws life.


“Survivor” and it’s Score

As of January of 2021, I am a fan of the reality TV show/ game show “Survivor.” I’ve watched about ⅔ of the 42 seasons and can’t seem to pry myself away from the forums, podcasts, and communities where fans discuss the abundance of content that CBS has provided in the form of “Survivor.”

There is a subset of “Survivor” fans who are really into the music that is used to score the episodes. In fact, there are communities of people who work really hard to source the music from the episodes, as the score isn’t uploaded anywhere and thus people have to edit out the voices of people talking over the music. 

A few months ago, I discovered the subreddit r/survivormusic. On this subreddit, people create, share, and consolidate the aforementioned score edits. Among this community, there is somewhat of a legend, a YouTube user by the name of survivorfan191. This user is known for having the best score edits in the community, but one fateful day several months ago, copyright struck down these videos and subsequently user survivorfan191 seemed to disappear. 

For a while, there was distress and disarray in the “Survivor” music community. Where had this user gone? Why were all of their videos suddenly gone? How else were they supposed to track down the edits survivorfan191 had created?

Then, around a month ago, they began reuploading past videos and even uploading content from the newest season of “Survivor.” Order had finally been restored to the “Survivor” music community, that survivor191 is carrying on their back.

I love these edits, they’re great study music and remind me of my favorite show. As all good music does, the score tells a story; I am eternally grateful to Russ Landau (the composer of the show’s theme song), the other talented musicians involved in the creation of the score of “Survivor”, and to survivorfan191 (along with other “Survivor” score editors) for allowing me and other fans to enjoy this music.

Until next time,



Book Review – “Neuromancer” by William Gibson

Author Bio

William Gibson is a Canadian Science Fiction author with a crazy talent to prophesize the internet’s future. Not actually, but he came pretty close with “Neuromancer”. 

Gibson’s writing style includes short, descriptive sentences that are able to gather the best angles to view and perceive action through writing. Gibson also is able to make characters that feel fictional and realistic through the way he humanizes them in his stories. 

In “Neuromancer”, William Gibson created new meanings for tech-y words like “matrix” and “cyberspace”. We constantly use these words today, but Gibson was able to create the context and story that allows us to visualize what matrices and cyberspaces are. 

Synopsis (Spoiler Free)

This book starts out with a bang. Case, the main character and lowlife hacker, is given one more shot to make it big with a huge data heist. His nervous system is crippled and most of his organs are failing in the first few pages of the book, but a mysterious employer, Armitage, gives him a chance with this heist. 

Case partners with Molly Millions to prepare for this data heist against Lady 3Jane, the most recent clone from the Tessier-Ashpool company. As Case and Molly explore each other’s backgrounds, they do some data digging on their employer, which involves them with an Artificial Intelligence, Wintermute. 

Racing through the build-up to the big heist, we are able to learn about Case’s losses and mental issues along with the problems Molly and Armitage face. I found that Molly and Armitage are really good support characters to Case, as they each exemplify parts of himself that he needs to fix. In comparing Molly to Case, it is the guilt and love in Case’s past he needs to work through, and in Armitage’s comparison, it is the trust and support of people Case needs to learn from. 

The heist, like many heist books or movies does not go off without a few hitches. Case is able to come to terms with his prior issues through the people he met like Molly. Gibson creates a labyrinth of action sequences that leaves us muddled, confused, yet satisfied up to the final pages of the book. 


I am a big Sci-Fi nerd, so learning about the influences “Neuromancer” had on Sci-Fi writing cultures made me interested in picking this book up. I am extremely happy that I did so. 

The foundations of shows and movies I love have roots in this book, and for that reason alone it makes “Neuromancer” a must read book. But also, this book is a fantastic piece of literature. 

The way Gibson describes technology and the endless expanse of Sprawl (basically a visual internet) without ever seeing anything like it before astounds me. Reading absolutely free thinking people’s crazy fantasies where anything can happen helps open my eyes to the possibilities I can influence around myself. 

I can’t wait to read the two follow-up books that make this into a trilogy. I need to read more of Gibson’s style because of how rapid and free it feels, so please check out his book from a library (or buy it form a local bookstore).

Keep eatin’

-DJ chef


Film Review: “Only Lovers Left Alive”

The romantic and gothic world of vampires and music fanatics are combined in this Jim Jarmusch film. What is not to love about a combination between music, love, and blood? Just think about the rituals that are cast with that combination. 

The director, Jim Jarmusch, helped create the soundtrack for this movie with his band SQÜRL and Jozef van Wissem. He also recruited Tilda Swinton to play Eve, and he recruited Tom Hiddleston to play Adam. Jarmusch creates films that focus on people and the relationships they incur in the world, and “Only Lovers Left Alive” does not stray from his film focus. 

Synopsis (If you are not into spoilers, then maybe don’t continue reading)

In “Only Lovers Left Alive” two extremely intelligent vampires, Adam and Eve, fall deeper and deeper in love as the film progresses. We get to watch two beautiful beings come to the realization all they need in their worlds is each other. 

Adam lives in Detroit, and Eve lives in Tangier. Both are connected to their respective city’s natural life, culture, and especially musical culture. Adam is depressed. He pays a “zombie” (human) to make a wooden bullet and plays with a loaded gun.

Somehow Adam’s depression isn’t the main tension in the film. Jarmusch is able to propel off Adam’s oddly short suicidal character arc and latch Adam and Eve together again. Through a ridiculously complicated FaceTime, Eve decides to visit Adam in Detroit (which is gorgeous in this film). 

The two lovers are together again. Nothing can go wrong, right? Well, Eve’s sister, Eva, eventually shows up on the doorstep and begins to destroy Adam’s image in Detroit. I personally love this part because we get to see the music scene in more detail, which of course is abstract and dark. 

With Adam’s image ruined, he returns with Eve to Tangier where the two can start again and tap into the roots of music, culture, and nature together. That’s it. That is the film. 

While that was a brief rundown, there is a lot more within the scenes, shots and sounds of the film I want to dig deeper into.

The Cinematography

First, the empty abandoned streets of Detroit (I don’t understand why these vampires are enamored with Jack White) are incredibly gorgeous. The film shots are filled with flickering lamp posts surrounded by vegetation that is left to run free and dark, decrepit mansions which are abandoned and forgotten. I do not understand how I fell in love with a city I have never seen before. I would love to roam the streets Jarmusch creates. They leave so many adventures untold. 

Adam’s lair in Detroit is also a thing of beauty. The haphazard decorations and walls filled with amps, guitars, lutes, violins, and anything a musician would ever need occupy every inch of space. He might have a cluttered home, but every bit of it is loved.

Tangier’s beauty is different. The slow undulations of the streets let the characters roam about with a bit more luxury and light compared to the dark corners of Detroit. I feel more at home in Adam’s Detroit, but that is probably because the film spent more time there. 

The Sounds of the Film

Another reason I fell for this film is the way Jarmusch blends music and film. He brings in his own band and a close friend to this movie to hand select the perfect musical accompaniment I have heard in a while. 

SQÜRL’s rough sounding guitars and bass help create the atmosphere needed to appreciate the places and things Adam and Eve experience. Also, Jozef van Wissem is able to create songs which allow you to love the gaps of silence. 

Final Thoughts

I could write another thousand words about this film, but it won’t be able to let anyone experience it the way they should. If you decide to watch this movie, then appreciate it in its entirety. I am not sure there is a more perfect vampire film that exists than “Only Lovers Left Alive”. 

Keep eatin’ 

-DJ chef


Food for Our Ears

Food and music is one of those life combinations that can truly change how you experience both mediums. Lyrics and rhythm of music combine with the smells and tastes of cooking to create a moment rather than just a meal or a song. Film makes a considerable impact on the way people see food, and music inspires and drives culinary artists just like food inspires artists to create their art. 

There’s no other artist I would want to start my food rant on than MF DOOM. DOOM’s lyrical insanity is one aspect of his art that I find so enjoyable. It’s those lyrics, and then there’s his production quality that drives my respect for MF DOOM even higher. “Mm.. Food” is fifteen tracks of foodie bliss. Yes, even the fifty second long, “Gumbo”, is masterful. DOOM combines food references, personal allegory, and humor. Just look at the lyrics to “One Beer”:

“He went to go laugh and get some head by the side road

She asked him autograph her derriere, it read

“To Wide Load, this yard bird taste like fried toad turd

Love, Villain””

He’s talking about himself, uses humor, and weaves food puns throughout the entire song. It’s truly incredible to me how much DOOM shows his love for food with his genius of production and lyrical mastery. This article isn’t only about MF DOOM, but he serves as one of my favorite examples of food and music combining to make something special. 

Representation of food in film has been and probably always will be a leading influence on what culinary artists create. Look at the difference between the ramen scene from “Tampopo” and the timpano scene from “Big Night” (warning: there are a few curse words). 

ramen scene, timpano scene

Both scenes showcase the beauty of food, but in “Tampopo” the music is sweet and used as more of a background to the ramen master’s lecture on how to enjoy ramen. In “Big Night” the music brings up the tempo of the scene to help make the tension extreme and more palpable. Both scenes are extremely popular for how they represent food, and they both inspired me to create more dishes from Japan and Italy because of how they are portrayed. 

Have you ever been cooking aggressively, headbanging, and listening to Gulch? Is that just me? When I work on dinner or other dishes that involve lots of effort in a short amount of time, I instantly flip on anything that makes my blood jump and hair curl. Sauteing onions and green beans while songs like “Self-Inflicted Mental Terror”, “Thong Song”, and “Ghost” pop up while tossing french fries in a tablespoon of oil and you immediately start thrashing and whipping the fries around a large bowl to make sure they are all well coated. This is what music does to cooking. It makes it fun. It makes it lively. Music adds more flavor to cooking than a teaspoon of salt. 

Maybe you don’t cook. Even if you get takeout or find yourself eating at a restaurant, there needs to be a good ambiance and delightful music. It feels like a waste of food if not enjoyed with musical accompaniment (at least to me, if you enjoy silence with your meals then please go on doing so). I find myself listening to calmer music while eating compared to the boisterous blastings while cooking. I find myself putting on Adrianne Lenker or Silver Jews for most of my meals. They both set a calm tone with their vocals and smooth instrumentals, which allows for a calm embrace of a nice fresh meal and some relaxing music.

I hope some of these words are able to inspire you to cook more or even listen to “foodie music”! Cooking is an important part of keeping myself mentally healthy, so I thought it might bring some light into your kitchen too (or some crazy flavor combinations). 



What’s Your WKNC DJ Name?

Whether you’re a long-time WKNC fan or you just started listening this morning, I bet you’ve wondered what your DJ name might be if you were a DJ here at WKNC. There have been thousands of DJ names over the years: some creative, some weird and all awesome. The day is finally here where you can determine what your DJ name would be if you were one of us… and who knows? One day you might be. And when asked how you came up with the name “DJ Baby Spoon” you can know it’s because your name is Paula and you were born on October 1. 

This graphic will also be posted on our Instagram, so let us know over there what your assigned DJ name is.

— Caitlin


Overcoming Writer’s Block

Having been a writer for the WKNC blog for over a year now, there are times in which I feel like there’s nothing to write about. I scroll through my Spotify, look at old lists I’ve made and read my colleagues’ blogs and nothing strikes my inspiration. These blocks can be annoying at best and paralyzing at worst, especially when held to a deadline.

But there’s one tip that I’ve heard and practiced that I feel has been instrumental in getting past writer’s block and creating blogs that I’m proud of.

Live your life.

Going about life as normal presents me with so much creative inspiration. Rather than hole-ing myself into my room until I can think of an idea or come up with something I feel is worthy of creation, I try to do activities (not even necessarily related to writing) and those provide me with inspiration.  Whether it be just going on a walk, being extra intentional about spending time with my friends or paying attention to the music playing in the grocery store, inspiration has struck me far more when I’m doing something rather than just telling my brain to create an idea from thin air.

Creative blocks are a nuisance, but sometimes they are necessary.

– Caitlin


“The Silent Patient” By Alex Michaelides – Book Review


“Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband.”

Who doesn’t love opening up a book to find an absolutely attention grabbing first line? The Silent Patient, a 2019 psychological thriller novel written by British-Cypriot Alex Michaelides, will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Inspired by Alcestis, an Athenian tragedy by Greek playwright Euripides, The Silent Patient is a bit of a slow-burn. Main character Alicia Berenson, a famous painter married to famous fashion photographer Gabriel Berenson, lived a happy life in London…until she brutally murdered him. Committed to The Grove, a forensic facility nestled in North London, Alicia refuses to speak to anybody and has stayed silent since her arrest. There she is met with Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist with an intense fascination around the Berenson case. 

Theo, the narrator, walks the reader through a bit of his life leading up to getting a job at The Grove and continues to detail the hardships of working with a patient who simply won’t speak. Theo eventually builds enough rapport with Alicia to get her to speak, and what she admits is a page-turning shocker. Michaelides paints colorful side characters in this Agatha Christie-esque whodunit novel, and you end up itching to find the truth. I don’t want to give too much away because the twist is what really makes this book great.

My Review

I stayed up all night to read this book (admittedly, any creaks around the apartment raised my blood pressure) because I just had to know what happened. While I don’t usually consider myself a fan of slow-burn novels, The Silent Patient kept my attention and continuously piqued my curiosity. For those of you not too keen on reading, a movie adaptation is reportedly in the works. 

About the Author

The Silent Patient was Alex Michaelides’ first novel and a New York Times bestseller. He found inspiration for this novel at his time studying psychotherapy and working in an adult facility. His new novel, The Maidens, was published in 2021 and is a psychological detective story about murders that take place at Cambridge college. Michaelides doesn’t just write novels; he wrote The Devil You Know (starring Lena Olin, Rosamund Pike and Jennifer Lawrence) and co-wrote The Con Is On (starring Uma Thurman and Tim Roth).

I hope to read The Maidens sometime soon and look forward to more work from Michaelides. Adjusting to school after spring break is always tough for me, so I encourage you to go pick a book and just live in another world for a little. Here’s to the final stretch!

<3 dj mozzie


Spring Album Recommendations

It’s nearly spring again, and I’ve been writing many blogs to celebrate the end of winter. Despite already making my “Ringing In Spring” series, I felt it would be nice to give some album recommendations for the spring for those who prefer the album listening experience as opposed to the playlist. These are all albums I’ve either been obsessed with in past springs, I feel evoke the energy of new beginnings quite well or just sound “springy” to me. 

It’s been beautiful to go outside without layers on (although, considerably harder for me to brainstorm outfits) and see the flowers blooming on the trees. I can never decide which season is my favorite (they all have major pros and cons), but I think if I had to choose it would be spring.

Without further ado, here are some albums I think you should check out or revisit this spring.

Have a lovely spring,



“Take Off Your Shirt!”: Rethinking Boundaries of Concert Attendees

When I go to concerts, I always end up next to really annoying people. At first, I thought it was just me having bad luck or that I like artists that tend to have younger fanbases. While both of these things might have a role in it, I think a lot of it is a lot of people having absolutely no respect for musicians/ artists/ celebrities as people. When I attended the Mitski show at the Ritz Raleigh, the people standing next to me were hellbent on being comedians, although it just came off as extremely disrespectful. 

Mitski, a carefully private and composed person, who has expressed many times that her fans don’t know her, has tried to draw clear boundaries between her as a person and as a performer (in both her art and in interviews). And yet, as she gracefully performed every choreographed movement in animated and exaggerated forms, the people next to me laughed, yelled and willfully misinterpreted the artistic moves she was making.  During certain songs, Mitski would collapse to her knees, lie on the ground, or otherwise make herself completely vulnerable; in response my concert neighbors would yell things like “Get up Mitski!” or “What is she doing right now?!” These two people were blatantly ignoring all of the vulnerability she was offering and cringing at it, mentally closing themselves off from what she had to offer them. 

When going to shows, I feel it’s important to recognize the artist’s comfortability with the audience, and truly contemplate whether your actions draw some sort of false familiarity between you and the performer(s). Last September when I attended the Phoebe Bridgers show, again there were people completely unaware of how disrespectful they were being, and Bridgers is a lot more comfortable with that kind of stuff. From signs that read “Hey mommy!” to hooting and hollering during “Punisher,” a song notably about deceased Elliott Smith, most people there seemed to think that somehow they were entitled to friendship with her. Think about how utterly dehumanizing it must be to want to share art about some of the most intimate parts of yourself, and to be made a laughing stock. 

I understand why and how it happens; people relate to the music that an artist makes and feel like the artist knows and understands them. In turn, this leads to people thinking that because they feel understood, they must also understand the artist. While in some cases this could true, for Mitski it ultimately isn’t. It’s embarrassing to witness. 

Phoebe Bridgers is not your “bestie,” she doesn’t know you. Just enjoy the music, dance with your friends, take pictures and let loose.

– Caitlin